A CANNABIS dealer caught with more than £1,500 worth of the drug was trying to 'plug the gap' left by a job loss.

Jonathan Eardley is today beginning a prison sentence after police also found scales and cash in his east end home.

Officers acting on information received obtained a search warrant and raided the Carwood Street property on July 30, 2017.

Prosecutor Lindy Scaife told Greenock Sheriff Court: "What appeared to be a tick list was among the items recovered.

"A total of 119 grams of cannabis were recovered, with a potential street value of £1,190.

"The accused was interviewed and he denied being concerned in the supply of cannabis.

"He was cautioned and charged and made no comment in relation to the matter."

The court heard that on a separate occasion police recovered 35 grams of the drug with a potential value of £350 after stopping Eardley's car late at night.

He had two bags of cannabis in a front pocket of his shorts and another was in plain sight on the passenger seat of the vehicle on Irwin Street on October 6, 2017.

Defence lawyer Gerry Keenan told how dad-of-two Eardley and his partner decided to leave Greenock for a 'new life' in Glasgow last summer.

Mr Keenan said: "His partner is working in a call centre and he has responsibility to look after the children.

"His partner has been struggling during the short time he has been on remand since February 1."

Eardley pleaded guilty to charges of being concerned in the supply of cannabis and cannabis possession.

But he says he didn't have a so-called 'tick list' of customers he sold the drug to.

Mr Keenan said: "His position is that he was transferring data from one mobile phone to another and he's written out the details of contacts he wished to keep.

"This matter arose out of the loss of a job and his desire to plug the gap."

Sheriff Daniel Kelly said: "I have heard what has been said on your behalf, however, this is a serious matter and I not that you were on bail for an analogous matter at the time."

Eardley was sentenced to seven months imprisonment.