A 24-YEAR-old who was pulled over while out dealing class A drugs has been spared an immediate jail sentence.

Kaine McPherson was the passenger in a Mercedes on Manchester Road in Bradford on December 3, 2021, when the vehicle was stopped by police.

A subsequent search led to the recovery of 41 wraps of cocaine and heroin, which were being concealed on the defendant’s body. They had a street value of just over £400.

A mobile phone, a small pen knife and £200 in cash were also found in the car.

Bradford Crown Court heard how McPherson, who had been homeless, told officers he was trying to support his family.

It also emerged that it took until July 2023 before the defendant was charged with two counts of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs – 19 months after the date of the offence.

In sentencing, Recorder Alex Menary took account of the delay in charges being brought, as well as the defendant’s age at the time of the offence.

He also gave McPherson credit for his guilty plea at the first court appearance in August.

Recorder Menary said as a result he was able to draw back from an immediate custody, sentencing McPherson to two years imprisonment suspended for two years.

He must also complete 200 hours of unpaid work in the community and complete a number of rehabilitation activity requirement days.

The court had heard that when the mobile phone was seized, messages were found “consistent with drug dealing”.

One prospective customer asked if he could have some drugs “on tick” and prices were quoted.

In custody McPherson told police that he was “doing something to support his family and child, and that he had been actively looking for work”.

He added that he’d “been a fool but said that he needed to do what he needed to do”.

In mitigation, John Bottomley for McPherson, said the defendant had used the delay in the case to try and better his life – finding temporary accommodation through youth homelessness charity Centrepoint in Shipley.

He added that he had had a troubled upbringing and had effectively been made homeless at age 15.

He now had two children and wanted a relationship with his eldest, a three-year-old boy with cerebral palsy. His youngest child was 12 weeks old.

Recorder Menary said McPherson had first fallen into the clutches of drug dealers aged 15, running up a significant debt to them for food and places to live.

But he added that the defendant was now committed to changing himself.