A DRUG dealer has claimed he was in possession of cannabis as it helped a hereditary disease he suffers with.

Vincent Solomon appeared via video link at Winchester Crown Court on Wednesday, where Judge Keith Cutler was told that there was an explanation for the 31-year-old having the class B drug.

Solomon’s defence barrister said the drug helps him cope with the pain of sickle cell disease which produces unusually shaped red blood cells that can cause problems such as painful episodes, increased serious risk of infections and anaemia.

During the hearing Solomon admitted to being concerned in the supply of the class B drug between June 19, 2018, and July 10, this year.

He also pleaded guilty to being in possession of cannabis with intent to supply on July 9, and acquired, used or had possession of criminal property, namely a sum of money.

The prosecution said that £2,655 was found at his address in Kingswood Road, London, but Solomon says that some of this was given to him by his mother and is not criminal property.

He also pleaded not guilty to possessing cannabis with intent to supply on June 20, which was accepted by the prosecution

He will be sentenced at the same court on September 5.