Here are the biggest court stories that have featured in the Stroud News and Journal, Gazette Series or Wilts and Glos Standard over the past few days.

A cannabis dealer was pressured into the trade after selling a faulty car.

Robert Ashley, who was caught with 2.5kg of the class B drug, sold a car to someone described in court simply as “a certain individual he is frightened of”.

The car developed a fault and its new owner demanded 46-year-old Ashley repay the money. He no longer had the cash, having used it to pay off a debt to another friend.

Prosecutor Tessa Hingston told Swindon Crown Court that police officers pulled over Ashley’s Peugeot van on the A429 near Malmesbury on January 17 last year.

Ashley, of Kemble, was sentenced to a year’s imprisonment suspended for two years.

FULL STORY: Kemble cannabis dealer pressured into trade after selling faulty car, court hears

Debbie Hicks has pleaded not guilty to using threatening, abusive words and behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress following an incident at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.

Hicks, of Stratford Road, Stroud, is alleged to have claimed Covid-19 was a hoax as she live streamed video from her phone inside the hospital on December 28, 2020.

Stacy Stroud defending said: “Ms Hicks admits being at the hospital but not being abusive or threatening to members of staff. Her conduct was reasonable."

District Judge Nicholas Wattam said that Ms Hicks would stand trial at at Cirencester Courthouse in July 12.

FULL STORY: Stroud lockdown activist Debbie Hicks denies charge after filming in hospital

A 56-year-old Cirencester man who admitted possessing 17 indecent images and videos of underage girls has walked free from court with a three year community order instead of being jailed for eight months.

Prosecutor Alec Small told Gloucester Crown Court that Gloucestershire police received information from the National Crime Agency in May 2019 that indecent images of children were been accessed to the Kik messenger service from an IP address located at Martin Toomer's home in Lewis Lane, Cirencester.

Mr Toomer was arrested on June 17, 2019 following the execution of a search warrant.

Recorder Paul Garlick said to Toomer: “Ordinarily these offences should be dealt with by the imposition of an eight month custodial sentence. However, that doesn’t deal with your problems.

“Instead I feel a 36 month community order would be more appropriate as this would be both demanding and would benefit you and society in general.”

FULL STORY: Cirencester man, 56, who downloaded child porn avoids jail

A former Conservative councillor has avoided prison after committing two upskirting offences.

Lee Hawthorne, 41, was a member of Gloucester City Council when he attempted to film up the skirt of a woman in a TK Maxx store.

Following a police appeal, Hawthorne was arrested and subsequent investigations of computer equipment uncovered a 90-second video of a second upskirting offence, which had been recorded two months previously.

Hawthorne, of Abbeydale, Gloucester, received a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

FULL STORY: Ex Tory Gloucestershire councillor avoids jail for upskirting offences