A CANNABIS dealer caught peddling drugs in the centre of Oxford has been handed a community penalty.

Joshua Champion, of Field Avenue, Blackbird Leys, Oxford, had already admitted at Oxford Magistrates' Court one count of possession with intent to supply the class B drug.

Oxford Crown Court heard at his sentencing hearing yesterday how the 23-year old was spotted on CCTV acting suspiciously in the baptist church area of Bonn Square, at about 2pm on June 16 2017.

He was there with three other men and when police officers approached two of them ran off leaving Champion and an unidentified male alone.

Champion quickly admitted to having drugs on him and told officers he had 'a large amount of weed' and said the other men were not his accomplices.

Police found that he had on him cannabis valued at about £800, which was made up of 35 deal bags of the drugs.

They also found £96.05 hidden in a sock he was wearing.

In mitigation at his sentencing hearing defence barrister Peter Du Feu said that his client had been making good progress since his arrest almost two years ago.

He added that his cient came from a troubled household and his brother Aaron Champion was only last week at the crown court after he was given a deferred sentence for stealing a number of high value cars.

Sentencing, Judge Zoe Smith said that in light of the time taken for the case to come to court Champion had been able to demonstrate his capability for rehabilitation.

She ordered that he be subject to a community order to include rehabilitation activity requirement for 15 days and drug rehabilitation requirement for nine months. He must also pay a victim surcharge and the drugs were forfeited to be destroyed.