A COMPANY boss who flouted a suspended jail term by drug-driving has avoided being sent to prison.

Ryan Thomas Paton, 35, was originally sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court in March, 2018, after admitting a charge of controlling and coercive behaviour.

A judge heard then that his victim was an ex-partner who had been put “through hell” during an on-off relationship.

Scaffolding businessman Paton was given a 10-month jail term, suspended for two years, and was ordered to complete 150 hours’ unpaid work and a rehabilitation activity requirement.

However, he was back at the crown court yesterday following an incident at Pow Street, in Workington, at 10.10am on March 29.

“The police caused this defendant, driving a Range Rover, to stop,” said prosecutor Brendan Burke. “A drug wipe at the roadside provide positive for cannabis.”

A personal use amount of the class B drug was found in the vehicle along with “some grinders”, stated Mr Burke.

He added: “A blood test returned 10mcg of a metabolite of cannabis per litre - five times over the prescribed limit for that drug.”

Paton, of Oak Drive, Stainburn, admitted cannabis possession, driving under the influence of the class B drug and breaching the suspended prison sentence.

Alaric Walmsley, defending, said Paton had shown “good compliance” with his previous sentence, completing the unpaid work and, he understood, also the rehabilitation.

He had responsibility for employees at the Workington-based family scaffolding business, Paton Bros, after his father stood down due to ill health.

Recorder Jeremy Lasker noted Paton’s recent crimes wouldn’t normally attract a prison sentence for first offences.

“Because you are 18 months into the suspended sentence and have dealt with it appropriately, I do think it would be unjust at this stage to impose that suspended sentence,” he said.

“I’m going to deal with it in some other way.”

Paton received a 12-month conditional discharge for cannabis possession, was fined £450 for drug-driving and given a 12-month road ban.

He must also complete an additional 20 unpaid work hours for the breach.