A 22-YEAR-OLD gardener was caught with more than £1,200-worth of cannabis after he and friends chipped in to buy a stash to take to a music festival.

Blackburn magistrates heard Daniel Vincent Westell and 14 friends had each paid in £80 to buy the cannabis, which Westell had bought on their behalf.

He ended up facing a charge of possession with intent to supply after explaining the position to police and telling them that £500 in cash found in the van was money he had been paid for gardening jobs.

Westell, 22, of Hodder Street, Accrington, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply. He was committed on bail to Preston Crown Court for sentence after the prosecution asked for the forfeiture of the cash.

District Judge James Clarke said if it had not been for the seizure application he would have dealt with the case within the magistrates court powers.

The court heard police who stopped a van on Burnley Road, Accrington, they could smell cannabis. They searched the vehicle and found a large bag containing several other bags of cannabis and £500 in cash.

Westell said he and his friends were going to Santa Pod.

“That weed is for all of us and there’s about 15 of us chipped in,” he added. He said he was looking after it until the festival in August.

Gareth Price, defending, said Westell was ‘sitting’ the cannabis until he and his friends went to the festival.

“There is no suggestion of commercial supply,” said Mr Price.