A YOUNG accountant turned to dealing drugs when he found himself in £30,000 of debt after he was “lured” into an unsuccessful Forex trading scheme.

Jacob Alexander Lindsay Brown opened his account with the trader when he was 18 – but his plan to earn extra money backfired.

He had taken £30,000 of bank loans to cover his debts but was struggling to keep up repayments.

Brown was spared an immediate prison sentence on Tuesday (July 5) after the judge was impressed with his progress.

Brown’s illicit activities were discovered when police stopped his black Hyundai on Station Road in Calne late on October 23, 2020.

Prosecutor Andrew Pickett told Swindon Crown Court that a search of the car revealed four clear bags of white powder, which turned out to be ketamine, as well as bags, scales, a grinder, a spoon and a small funnel in the fuse box next to the steering wheel.

The now 21-year-old ran off, but stopped voluntarily and told officers: “My life is over.”

Mr Pickett added that almost £5,000 of cash was located under the driver’s seat – that he later told police he owed to his dealer. More drugs were also found in a suitcase under his bed at his parents’ house.

The ketamine, a Class B drug, was found to have a value of between £2,850 and £3,990.

Defending, Giles Nelson said that his client “panicked” when he ran away from police but “stopped of his own volition”.

“Forex applications and trading accounts are being shunted around teenagers on various social media platforms and present themselves as a sophisticated way of being a city trader, but he’s in sixth form college.

“They get lured into it as a way to seem smart, but they’re just gambling entities.

“It’s an enormous trap really. His issue is not an issue with drugs, it’s an addictive behaviour pattern.”

But, Mr Nelson said he has “faced up to” it and has used the almost two-year delay in the case positively, by working two jobs, seven days a week, to start paying back his debts.

Mr Nelson said that he does not pose a risk of danger to the public, and that punishment can be achieved in the community. He asked for a suspended sentence.

Judge Jason Taylor QC said in sentencing that the quantity of the drugs, almost 200 grams, was “significant”, which moved it further up the sentencing range.

He also factored in a caution he received for possessing ketamine in 2019.

“The reality is you were a young man that was lured into a money-making scheme that didn’t live up to expectations, with hindsight I’m sure you can see there were elements of naivety.

“You thought the best way out was doing what you were doing.

“I have to recognise this was committed almost two years ago and I have to recognise how you’ve used that period, and that impresses me.

“This will affect your career and there’s nothing I can do about that.”

When Judge Taylor told Brown, of Marle Hill Parade in Cheltenham, that he would not be going to prison today, he became teary.

Brown’s ten-month prison sentence was suspended for 18 months.

During that time, he must complete 20 rehabilitation activity days, 175 hours of unpaid work and court costs of £425.

The drugs and cash were also confiscated.

“I believe that you have learnt your lesson, I also believe you won’t come before the court again. Don’t let me down,” the judge said as the defendant left the dock.