A DRUG dealer was caught after officers became suspicious of his “odd demeanour” in a car.

Daryl Cole, 22, was arrested on December 2 last year, when the car in which he was travelling in as a passenger was pulled over by officers in Sylvester Close, Oakridge, Basingstoke.

In his jeans pocket, officers found a bag of white powder, which was later found to be mephedrone, a former “legal high” known as M-Cat that is now a Class B drug.

A sentencing hearing at Winchester Crown Court was told that officers suspected Cole had used the drug when they arrested him.

Rob Welling, prosecuting, said: “On December 2, it was Daryl Cole’s odd demeanour that attracted the attention of the police when he exited a vehicle as a passenger.

“That prompted a search, and officers found a bag of white powder which turned out to be mephedrone, also known as M-Cat.”

The court heard that as officers did not have a field test kit for the drug, Cole was given police bail until February 20 this year.

But on January 17, Cole was then arrested for possession of mephedrone and fined at Basing-stoke Magistrates’ Court, Mr Welling said.

This led to examination of Cole’s mobile phone, which showed that he had made at least 10 mephedrone deals between September 28 and December 2 last year.

Mr Welling said: “It’s clear from the text messaging that the defendant was someone known to be available for M-Cat, and someone who was prepared in the past to offer drugs ‘on tick’.”

Cole, of Deanes Close, South View, Basingstoke, had pleaded guilty to possession of a Class B drug with intent to supply at a previous hearing.

Lisa Stewart, defending, said her client was vulnerable and had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. She said he had become addicted to the drug and sold it to pay off his own debt.

Judge Jane Miller told Cole he had shown “little regard” for the police and prosecution by being arrested for possession while on police bail.

She sentenced him to six months in jail, but suspended the prison term for 12 months.