A WINCHESTER man who was part of a gang who carried out a raid on a Winchester jewellers has been spared jail after he was caught with over £15,000 profited from the burglary.

Samuel Johnson, along with three others, broke into Donna Laine Fine Jewellers in Parchment Street and stole jewellery valued at between £30-50,000

Following his guilty plea to the crime, which took place over night on January 3-4, police attended Johnson’s home in Cripstead Lane on June 20 where they smelt cannabis.

On Friday Winchester Crown Court heard that Johnson told officers he had just smoked a spliff, but while he was being handcuffed he pulled an officer into the living room and showed them a jar filled with cannabis.

Judge Jane Miller said she believed this was to “desist from a wider search”, but police found more cannabis in a foil-lined bag and seven brown MDMA tablets.

The search also discovered £15,970. The 37-year-old admitted a month before a trial was due to begin to being in possession of criminal property, namely the money which was a result of the burglary. He also pleaded guilty to possession of MDMA and possession with intent to supply class B drugs.

Johnson said that cannabis was for himself and was only sold to friends and family.

In mitigation the court heard that since his release in March this year after serving just eight months of a two and half year sentence for the shop raid he has had ‘excellent engagement’ with the probation service and has found a job as a barber.

Khalid Missouri, defending, said: “It looks like at the age of 37 he may be finding the road of rehabilitation.”

The court was told that Johnson was diagnosed with ADHD as a child and was given “very limited support from his family” which led to his offending.

Judge Miller said that he had been before the courts on 18 occasions, with 17 convictions, for 69 offences.

Mr Missouri said that if Johnson was jailed he would be “punished twice” for the same incident and he would also lose his partner of 14 years, along with his home and job.

In sentencing, Judge Miller handed Johnson a 14-month sentence suspended for 12 months. He must also pay £19,470 compensation following the jewellery shop burglary.

Katy-Jo McCaffrey, also of Cripstead Lane, was accused of being in possession of criminal property but it was determined that this would lie on file.