A man convicted of supplying 20g of heroin to an undercover policeman in a church doorway has been spared jail time despite six previous convictions.

Darren McLarty, 21, from Wessex Close, Norbiton, was found guilty of supplying drugs on March 19 last year, while involved with a gang of 17 men selling crack cocaine and heroin around a Mitcham estate.

He was given an 18-month suspended jail sentence at Kingston Crown Court on June 27, and a 12-month integrated domestic abuse programme on account of his young age and it being a single offence.

He also has to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work. Judge Georgina Kent said: “I find it disturbing you appear to be involved in a number of offences.”

Prosecutor Martin Pinfold said McLarty, along with Brian Mudziwepasi, who is currently serving a jail sentence of 11 years for shooting at officers after the drug deal, were stood in the doorway of a church hall waiting for the undercover officer.

McLarty, who used to work in Sainsbury’s Kingston, has had six previous convictions including possession of cocaine and heroin.