A TEENAGER was spared prison after being caught with cannabis worth thousands of pounds.

Zakaria Deghayes was stopped by police at Brighton Station in March.

The officers found 160 grams of the class B drug, worth an estimated street value of between £1,600 and £3,200.

It was the second time the 18-year-old had been caught in possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

But in a Skype hearing at Hove Crown Court he was spared an immediate spell in prison, as he has started a college course and is trying to turn a corner with help from a council worker.

Judge Jeremy Gold QC said Deghayes has one final chance to “stay on the straight and narrow”.

It was revealed that Deghayes, cousin to the brothers Amer, Abdullah, Abdul, and Jaffar Deghayes, has been trying to get himself out of the drugs world.

Sophie Evans, prosecuting, said Zakaria was noticed by police because of a “strong smell of cannabis” at 10.25am on March 17.

He was stopped and searched and the drugs were found.

A search also revealed messages on his phone from the day before which suggested he was setting up drug deals.

Ms Evans said Deghayes was convicted for the same offence as a 17-year-old and had been the subject of a youth referral order at the time of the offence.

Hollie Collinge, defending, said her client pleaded guilty at the first opportunity, and had shown a lack of maturity.

She said: “He has taken steps to address his offending since March and has been the subject of monitoring. He has successfully complied with bail conditions.”

Ms Collinge said Deghayes has started a college course at Varndean and has also applied for work at Churchill Square for when the businesses reopen there.

She said he can “refocus on living a productive life in future”, and also said his mother and father have shown their disappointment in him.

They want him to set a better example to his younger sisters, the court heard. He has also been affected by the deaths of his cousins, including Abdul, 22, who died in Elm Grove, Brighton in February 2019.

Judge Gold QC said: “Don’t be under any illusions about the serious situation you are in. You are treading a tightrope and have committed offences involving cannabis supply in the past. You are pushing the boundaries by your continued involvement in drugs. Nobody wants to send a youngster of your age into custody. You have a supportive family and network.”

Deghayes, of Chichester Drive West, Saltdean, was given a six month suspended sentence and was put under curfew for six months between 8pm and 6am.