Two men who admitted selling cannabis would travel to Liverpool to buy their drugs because it was better quality than what was available in North Wales, a court was told on Friday.

Sion Richard Williams and Michael Kieran Jones – both described as vulnerable –  were caught red-handed by suspicious police officers in Mold on October 31 last year.

Police saw a parked car in Chester Road and Williams ran across the road and jumped over a fence.

Officers stopped and checked the car, driven by Williams’ father, and Jones was in the back seat.

Cannabis with a potential street value of £2,500 was recovered.

The two defendants denied drug dealing – but admitted what they had done when their telephones were analysed and incriminating text messages were found.

They said that they had been selling drugs in Ruthin and the surrounding area for about six months.

At Mold Crown Court, Williams, 25, of Prior Street in Ruthin, and Jones, 25, of St Meugan’s, Ruthin, admitted suppling cannabis and possessing the class B drug with intent to supply.

Judge Niclas Parry told them: “I have lost count the number of times I have heard the word vulnerable being used in this case.

“There is nothing vulnerable about driving to Liverpool to buy £2,500 worth of drugs.

“You were bringing it back intending to sell it on in North Wales in a small rural community where considerable harm is being caused by drugs. It must be stopped.”

Both had been “caught in the act” by police.

“It is clear that you had been at it for some time, about six months,” Judge Parry told them.

It had all the signs that the two men had been “running a little business” which they thought was worth it because of the profit that was being made.

Both would receive full credit in sentence for their guilty pleas.

The judge imposed eight-month sentences and there was huge relief in the dock when he said he was prepared to suspend the sentence.

Judge Parry placed them on rehabilitation and said the public would be far better served by their problems being addressed rather than a custodial sentence measured in weeks at considerable cost.

Jones was placed on a three-month tagged curfew between 6.30pm and 6am and Williams was fined £500 – and a three month order was made banning him on on-licensed premises.

Defending barrister John Hedgecoe, for Williams, said that there had been no further offending in the last seven months.

He suffered from anxiety and depression and struggled to cope.

That was probably not helped by his use of cannabis over a prolonged period of time.

Alun Williams, for Jones, said that previous convictions for possessing blades and trespassing on the railway were all to do with self-harm issues.

He was a very vulnerable young man with on-going difficulties, including Asperger’s, and he had a community mental health worker.

A psychiatric assessment was being prepared so that he could be medicated.

He had been dealing for about six months, not openly on the street but to a closed group of about 20 customers.

From the text messages Mr Williams claimed that his client appeared to be the “junior partner in the enterprise”.

Both defendants would have been extremely vulnerable in custody, the court was told.