A MAN smoked cannabis to help with his mental health, a court has heard.

Jamie Liam Evans, 24, of The Claytons, Ross-on-Wye, admitted possessing the class B drug when he appeared before magistrates in Hereford on February 5.

Prosecutor Emily Clewer said Evans had been caught after police conducted a search of his home in relation to a different matter.

The officers found he had a small amount of cannabis hidden in a box in his bedroom on July 8.

Marilena Di Vitantonio, mitigating, said Evans had volunteered that he had a small amount of the drug, which he was using as an anti-depressant, when police arrived.

“He has lost his job over this, and he has not been able to get another,” she said.

“He lives with his mother, and is not claiming benefits. He says he is not receiving money at all.”

Evans told the court he was not claiming benefits after receiving a sanction for failing to meet the required 36 hours of active job searching a week, as he has no computer.

Magistrates told Evans they had some empathy with his predicament, but that he needed to take action to change his situation.

Evans was handed a 12-month conditional discharge. He must pay costs of £50 and a £20 victim surcharge.