A PENARTH student has avoided jail for drug offences.

Marco Sun, 20, from Cae Gwyn, pleaded guilty at Cardiff Crown Court to possession of the class B drug cannabis with intent to supply.

A community order was made requiring him to undertake 150 hours of unpaid work in the community over the next 12 months.

He was arrested at his home on May 5 after police had executed a search warrant.

They found a total of £240 worth of cannabis as well as £215 in cash and a black Nokia phone in a sock.

Cannabis weighing 18.3 grams in total was discovered under the spare wheel of a BMW car.

Text messages were found on a phone which indicated his involvement in supplying the drug.

Prosecuting, John Warren said that Sun had admitted that the messages were related to selling drugs over a three or four month period.

He added that Sun had no previous convictions

Defence counsel Andrew Shanahan called it a "sad case", and said Sun was a student who wanted money for himself and to help his family.

Mr Shanahan revealed that Sun's father had suffered from cancer and that, even though he was in remission, he was still unable to work.

He said: "This put the family under sever financial pressure and his mother had to get three jobs.

"They are a hard working family and his sister is a lawyer in Hong Kong.

"He placed everything in jeopardy by doing this. This conviction will reverberate for his life.

"He is very remorseful."

He also pointed to the fact that Sun holds down a job and does community work and that he has stopped using the drug himself.

In sentencing, Recorder Catherine Brown said that this was a "serious offence because cannabis causes harm."

"I've no doubt you are hard working but you have issues particularly about your father," she added.

"You knew that you were taking the criminal road."

But she said she accepted that he admitted his involvement and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

The drugs were forfeited and destroyed and the money confiscated.

He was also ordered to pay an £85 surcharge.