A CANNABIS smoker was stopped at a services near Worcester because police believed, wrongly it turned out, that the car was linked to drug dealing.

Jordan Mignott was heading southbound on the M5 when officers took an interest in his silver BMW which turned off into Strensham Services near junction 8.

The 28-year-old of Victoria Park, Bristol admitted possession of cannabis on April 2 this year when he appeared before magistrates in Worcester on Thursday.

Ralph Robyns-Landricombe, prosecuting, said officers were on patrol at around 2.05am when they began their investigation.

"Following a search of his vehicle they found a small quantity of cannabis. Interviewed at the roadside, the defendant admitted it was cannabis and he intended to smoke it. He was aware it was an offence to possess the substance" said the prosecutor.

Mignott was asked how long he had been using cannabis for and he replied '16 years'. When asked where he got it from he said: "I found it."

The defendant has 19 previous convictions recorded against him, including a burglary dealt with my Avon and Somerset magistrates for which he received a sentence of imprisonment in 2018.

Barry Newton, defending, said: "The stop was nothing to do with the manner of driving. The police had information at that time which linked the car to drug dealing.

"Clearly that wasn't the case. He was drug swiped and that was negative. They conducted a complete search of the car." The solicitor stressed that the cannabis found was 'a very small amount', two spliffs, and Mignott had only two drugs convictions on his record.

"It begs the question why he wasn't offered a caution in this case. I'm afraid that's the way of the world. I expect the police decided if we charge him anyway we get a good result" said Mr Newton.

The court heard that Mignott already had an outstanding court debt, described as 'old', of £445. The clerk confirmed 'that isn't being collected at the moment for whatever reason'.

Magistrates handed him a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered him to make a contribution to costs of £185 and a victim surcharge of £22.