A Basingstoke man who had only just been released from prison has been sentenced to 21 months imprisonment after being found to have played a “significant” role in the supply of cannabis.

Peter David Clarke, of Longbourn Road, was found to have hidden thousands of pounds of drugs in his flat, including cocaine inside a DVD case and under his bed, while two bags of cannabis were found in a bedside cabinet.

The 36-year-old had been due to stand trial at Winchester Crown Court on the charge of possession with intent to supply cocaine, but the prosecution accepted a plea of guilty to just possession instead. Clarke had previously pleaded guilty to a charge of possession with intent to supply cannabis.

Sentencing him on January 4, Judge Miller said she believed there was no “realistic chance of rehabilitation” for the Basingstoke resident.

The court heard that Clarke had been arrested on November 28, 2018, following a search warrant being carried out on his flat by police. His partner at the time let officers into the flat, where Clarke was sleeping.

After being questioned by officers, he directed them to a cabinet beside their bed, where two bags of cannabis, worth around £1,940 on the street, were found. Police also discovered 14 grams of cocaine underneath his side of the bed, and a further 1.69 grams in a DVD case in the property.

£675 in cash was also discovered, which was claimed to be being transferred to a friend.

The prosecution argued that Clarke had played a “significant role” in the supply of drugs, and that the large amount of money found at the property was not there as “an altruistic act.”

Mitigating, the solicitor for the defence argued that Clarke had an “unhelpful network around him that helped him fall into bad habits.”

She called for the judge to give him an extended suspended sentence, saying that it would “act as a Sword of Damocles” that would ensure he “knows he’s got a one way ticket to custody.”

However, Judge Miller dismissed this call following the receipt of a pre-sentence report. She said that the defendant’s criminal record, which included 14 offences of drug possession between 2002 and 2017, including possession with intent, meant that “rehabilitation is highly unlikely.”

She also noted that a previous suspended sentence had been breached “within a year.”

She said: “I agree with the prosecution that you played a significant role in the supply of cannabis,” adding that there was “clearly” a financial benefit.

On the charge of cocaine possession, the judge said that it was “Impossible… to ignore the large amount of cocaine in [Clarke’] possession,” but said she would reduce the four-month sentence to three “generously” due to his guilty plea.

She sentenced Clarke to 18 months for supplying cannabis, and a further three months for the possession of cocaine. He will serve half of his sentence before being eligible to be released on license.