A SOUTH Cumbria farm worker caught with high purity cocaine, potentially worth more than £40,000, was spared jail but told by a judge: “You have brought shame upon your parents.”

Joshua William Nicholson’s silver BMW was stopped by police on the A65 close to Lupton church on the evening of October 2.

A quantity of cash was found under the driver’s seat, along with a wrap of cocaine. More money was located when 24-year-old Nicholson’s Kirkby Lonsdale flat was searched. In addition, a large quantity of white powder was discovered wrapped in vacuum-sealed packaging bearing figures appearing to correspond with weights.

Various packages of the 82-88 per cent pure cocaine weighed in at almost a quarter of a kilo. Also seized was a vacuum-sealing machine and weighing scales - one set bearing a trace of white powder.

A drugs expert concluded the potential total street level drug sale value could be “£40,000-plus”, Carlisle Crown Court heard. Nicholson admitted possessing cocaine with intent to supply, and having criminal property - £3,110 drug-dealing cash proceeds.

More than a dozen character references were provided in support of Nicholson, a hard-working member of his family’s farming business. These, said his lawyer, Fraser Livesey, demonstrated “a very significant amount of positive good character having impressed people in his local community, from school days onwards”.

Recorder Lawrence McDonald read Nicholson, of Lupton, near Crooklands, had accepted his crime, was deemed a low reoffending risk and capable of rehabilitation. Noting immediate custody would also have a significant impact on relatives, the judge suspended a two-year prison sentence for two years. Nicholson must complete a six-month night-time curfew, 200 hours’ unpaid work and rehabilitation.

“As a result of this you will be known to your friends and family to be a drug-dealer,” said the judge. “You know, because the (probation service) pre-sentence report says so, that you have brought shame upon your parents who are here today to support you.

“And it is clear from the references that I have seen that your offending is known to your friends, your neighbours, your relatives, and widely known in the community.”

“You only get one second chance,” added Recorder McDonald. “I will give you the second chance, and I sincerely hope you don’t waste it.”