09/10/2012 12:43 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Drug Dealer Avoids Prison Despite Targeting Kids At Skate Park

Skateboarding drug dealer avoids prison despite targeting kids PA

A 24-year-old drug dealer has avoided being sent to prison despite targeting children at a skate park.

Alexander Horsford was arrested as he made his way to the park in Ashford, Kent, where he was reportedly known to supply cannabis in bags carrying a leaf motif.

Canterbury Crown Court heard that police officers were already investigating complaints of drug-taking at the park after identical bags were found there just days earlier.

Kent Online reports that Horsford pleased guilty to possessing the Class B drug with intent to supply - an offence which could have seen him sentenced to three years in prison. Instead, he was given a suspended sentence and a three-month 8pm to 7am curfew.

The court heard that while Horsford was being held at the police station after his arrest, his phone received text messages relating to his supplying of drugs. One read 'for f**** sake, I have been left with your s*** to walk about with,' while another said 'I can't believe you have left me with your s***. What if I get caught? Oh my god where are you?'

Horsford told the court that he bought £10 of cannabis a day from a source he refused to name. He said he kept some for himself and sold the rest on at a profit of £3 per bag.

Jim Harvey for the prosecution said that Horsford told police 'he had been on his way to the skatepark and was planning to sell it to anyone who asked for it. He said this was a quite common exercise'.

"He later told a probation officer that he had been supplying the substances to under 18-year-olds," Mr Harvey added.

Horsford has a previous conviction for possessing cannabis, and was told by the judge, Recorder Janet Bignell, that his actions - intending to sell the drug to under 18s - were 'highly regrettable'.

"The police stopped you - fortunately before you had dealt drugs that day when you were on your way to the skatepark," she said, "You admitted that your customers were sometimes - perhaps often, given the location - under 18-year-olds.

"It is highly regrettable that when your own habit seemed to have been formed by your use from the age of 14, that you spend your day selling to children of a similar age, who perhaps as a result will one day end up in a dock like you.

"The fact you were selling to under 18-year-olds and at a skate park is a particularly aggravating feature of this case."