A GROUNDWORKER was caught with cannabis and an Airsoft pistol when police were called to a brawl outside Subway.

But magistrates spared 20-year-old Kane Simmons an immediate prison sentence after hearing he had grown up, had a job and had since kicked his cannabis habit.

Sentencing him to an 18 month community order, chairman of the bench at Oxford Magistrates’ Court Colin McGuire said: “This was quite a serious thing. You were there with an imitation gun and there’s some drug dealing going on.”

Prosecutor Adam Khan said police were called to reports of a fight outside the Subway sandwich shop in Manorsfield Road, Bicester, on February 18 last year.

Officers could smell cannabis on Simmons – then just 18-years-old – when he approached them. A search of him uncovered 19 wraps of cannabis and an imitation 6mm Airsoft calibre spring-loaded pistol and magazine in his trouser pocket.

Mitigating, Danielle Buckett told the bench her client had been addicted to cannabis at the time and selling the class B drug to friends in order to fund his own habit. She said Simmons had been naïve and was unaware of the scale of the wider operation in which he was involved.

Since being arrested 18 months ago, he had kicked his cannabis addiction, had not been in further trouble and had cut his ties with old associates. He had no previous convictions.

He had suffered some trauma in his life, with his dad jailed several years previously for attacking the defendant’s mother.

The young dealer was said to be a carer for his mother and also helped out his grandparents.

He was currently wrong as a groundworker on a landscaping park and was enrolled in a course to obtain his CSCS card that would allow him to work on construction sites.

Simmons, of St Anthony’s Walk, Bicester, who appeared in the dock on Tuesday wearing a white shirt and black tie, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to possession with intent to supply cannabis and possession of an imitation firearm.

As part of his 18 month community order, Simmons must complete 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days and 36 hours at an attendance centre. He was ordered to pay £175 in costs and surcharge.

Magistrate Colin McGuire said: “We don’t want to see you again and I don’t think we are - and I hope not."


The gun and cannabis found on Kane Simmons Picture: CPS

The gun and cannabis found on Kane Simmons Picture: CPS


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