A semi-professional footballer caught holding cocaine for another was ‘fortunate to avoid a custodial sentence’, police said.

Banbury United striker Henry Landers, 21, was given a 14 month suspended sentence at Oxford Crown Court on Wednesday after he admitted storing 2.6g of the white powder in his bedroom.

The drugs were found in the bedroom at Landers’ grandmother’s home, where the semi-professional sportsman was staying, during a police search last May.

READ MORE: Footballer caught with cocaine

Reacting to the sentence, Det Con Tania Wasilewski-Norman of Banbury CID said: “His early guilty plea has, quite likely, spared him from an immediate prison sentence, and I hope that the sentence imposed will send a stern warning to Landers that this type of offending is completely unacceptable.

“Although the quantity of cocaine located was relatively small, any kind of activity relating to drug dealing creates great harm and concern in our communities.

“Dealers often exploit the most vulnerable people in our communities and will not be tolerated. We will actively pursue and bring offenders before the courts.”

She added: “I hope that Landers will appreciate that he was fortunate to avoid a custodial sentence and does not re-offend in the future, and uses the term of suspended prison sentence to seriously reflect upon his actions.”

The drugs police found at Henry Landers home Picture: TVP

The drugs police found at Henry Landers' home Picture: TVP

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