Man is caught with drugs

A Thorntons worker arrested on suspicion of commiting arson with intent to endanger life was caught with cannabis, a court has heard.

John Aston, who works as a packer at the Somercotes chocolate factory, was arrested on March 15 and the drugs were found.

His solicitor, Steve Brint, told Chesterfield magistrates police suspected he had started a fire at an ex-girlfriend’s home with intent to endanger life.

“He was arrested at about 4am and searched and he had an amount of cannabis so small it couldn’t be weighed properly. There was just enough to make one spliff.

“He has given up drugs altogether. He has a new girlfriend who doesn’t drink or use illicit substances.”

Aston, 34, of Alfreton Road, Pinxton, admitted possessing cannabis.

He had previous convictions for dangerous driving, drink-driving and damaging property and was serving a suspended prison sentence.

Magistrates decided not to activate the suspended sentence because of the small amount of cannabis seized by officers.

They imposed a four-month conditional discharge, with £85 costs, and ordered that the drugs be destroyed.