A court was told police believed a man, found with £12,000 worth of drugs in his home, was keeping them for others after being promised some of the stash for himself in return.
Robert James Gibson (25), of Swilly Close, Portstewart, appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court last week.
The defendant admitted charges of possessing herbal cannabis and possessing the Class B drug with intent to supply.
It was stated the drugs were found on September 18 this year after police went to his home address and smelt the drugs.
During a search they found cannabis in a hotpress, in bags and in a tub along with scales.
During a police interview Gibson, who had a clear record, said he is addicted to cannabis and smokes two or three grammes a day.
The Coleraine court was told police believed the defendant when he said he was “holding” the drugs for another person - whom he refused to name - and said he would be paid in cannabis for doing so.
Defence barrister Aaron Thompson said his client’s account had been accepted by police.
He said Gibson had a “Road to Damascus” conversion and has been referred by his GP for substance treatment.
District Judge Liam McNally said normally such a matter would attract immediate custody but he took into account the clear record and the full and honest co-operation with police which he said showed a level of remorse.
Ordering Gibson to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work, the judge said rather than the destructive way he had dealt with the community he should do something “more constructive”.