A Carlisle dad who became a cocaine dealer to support his children amid dire family circumstances has been spared immediate prison.
Martin Schatz, 31, was stopped outside his Henderson Road home and found in possession of cash and several mobile phones on the afternoon of December 30, 2019. He’d earlier been involved in a suspicious exchange in the city’s St Aidan’s area.
Cocaine potentially worth £1,700 was found both inside his underwear and around his house, along with £9,000 cash, 5g of skunk cannabis and vape cartridges containing THC – the main psychoactive constituent of the class B drug.
Drugs supply messages were found on an iPhone. “He told officers he felt it was an easy way to make money,” prosecutor Megan Tollitt said of his admissions to police.
Schatz admitted possessing cocaine and cannabis with intent to supply, and having criminal property.
But Kim Whittlestone, defending, said his crimes were committed against a background of trying personal circumstances and illness affecting several family members, adding: “He is deeply remorseful got his offending behaviour.”
Recorder Alex Leach heard Schatz was otherwise deemed “dependable, reliable and trustworthy”, provided vital daily childcare and he observed that, if imprisoned, the loss to his family would be “profound”.
Taking what he said was a “truly exceptional” course, Recorder Leach suspended a two-year jail term for two years and imposed 250 hours’ unpaid work.
“I don’t want to punish your children for your misdeeds. That has kept you out of prison today,” said the judge.
“Perhaps you would want to reflect in the coming days just what a mess that would have left them in.”