An addict has been jailed after he tried to smuggle £174,000 worth of cannabis from Canada to pay off his drug debt. 

Joshua Carl Gough, 30, racked up a huge debt with a dealer due to his cannabis and cocaine use. 

A court heard that he moved to Spain to escape the debt but when he came back to the UK the dealer tracked him down. 

The dealer then offered to write-off the debt if he agreed to smuggle drugs into the country. 

On September 18 last year Gatwick Airport border force officers found 29kilos of cannabis in his bags after a flight from Canada. 

News Shopper: Gough said a dealer agreed to write off his drug debt if he did this jobGough said a dealer agreed to write off his drug debt if he did this job (Image: NCA)

On Thursday (March 14) he appeared at the Old Bailey to be sentenced for being concerned in the fraudulent evasion of a prohibition on the importation of a class B drug. 

Judge John Hillen told Gough, who appeared in court on a video link: “Cannabis is a dangerous drug, it is not made a prohibited drug for no reason at all. 

“It is a drug which double the possibility of psychotic illness, multiplies chances of lung cancer, and a recent report shows it increases substantially the risk of fatal heart disease.” 

The judge detailed how Gough had racked up large debts due to his addiction, but told him: “Your debt, of course, was entirely your own fault.” 

Judge Hillen said that while on paper it might be possible to suspend a prison sentence, this would not provide adequate deterrence for others who might be tempted to act as drug couriers. 

He said: “It needs to be known that drug smuggling will be met with sentencings of imprisonment.” 

Gough, of no fixed address, was given a 15-month prison sentence. 

He has already served most of the sentence so will only spend a few more weeks in custody before he is released.