CAR wash owner Gent Jakupi this week said he only pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis after taking legal advice and he was totally anti drugs.

Jakupi, 36, of New Park Street, Devizes was fined £80 and ordered to pay £115 by Salisbury magistrates on Friday but this week he said: "It was an old dried up bit of cannabis that one of my guys found in a car that was being cleaned.

"It couldn't have been used. It was put in a drawer and forgotten about. We find all sorts of things in the cars including gun cartridges from people who go hunting.

"I realise now we should have told the police straightaway but at the time I didn't really think about it. I am completely anti drugs. I don't like them at all. I didn't want to plead guilty but my solicitor advised it would be the best thing to do as the cannabis was on my premises."

Jakupi also confirmed that he was still the co-owner of Devizes Car Centre in New Park Street despite his defence solicitor Daniel Moses telling the court his business had ceased and was claiming benefits.

He said: "That is not right at all. Things are going quite well for me and I have plans for the future."

At court on Friday prosecutor Pauline Lambert said that on March 15, 18.4g of the Class B drug was seized from the car wash when the police carried out a sweep of the business.

The force carried out a section 18 search which allows police to enter a premises before any arrests are made.

Mr Moses, defending said that his client found the drug after one of his employees picked it up after it had been left behind by a customer.

Mr Moses continued, saying how Jakupi took the drug and left it in his office and when the police searched the car wash, he was out at the time.

Jakupi told the court: “We find all sorts of stuff in the cars. I do not do drugs at all, in fact I am fully against them."

Magistrate Michael New commended Jakupi for his guilty plea but reprimanded him for not handing over the drugs to the police.

In August Jakupi says that he wanted people in Devizes to know that his business was back up and running after police and health and safety inspectors swooped on his business in July.

Jakupi, an Albanian, said: "We were only closed for a day but a lot of people think there are still problems. I have been here for 10 years but some people still seem suspicious of us and want to think the worst."