A 'COUNTY lines' drug dealer caught with a haul of drugs worth £4,000 has been jailed.

William Young, of London Road, Coventry, was set to stand trial for two counts of possession with intent to supply crack cocaine and heroin, as well as possession of a bladed article.

The 54-year old later had a change of heart and admitted both counts ahead of his sentencing at Oxford Crown Court yesterday.

Detailing the case prosecutor Kirsty Allman said that police first stopped Young’s Ford Focus at Ermont Way in Banbury on the afternoon of May 24.

Taken to the police station, officers went on to search him, his car and then his Coventry home.

In all they seized Class A drugs worth £3,890 made up of 126 wraps of crack cocaine, a 15.7g block of crack cocaine and 87 wraps of heroin.

They also found a lock knife as well as a set of scales and two mobile phones - one of which was found to have messages relating to the sale of drugs. A machete sheath was also found in the car.

The court also heard that he had used an address in Banbury of a vulnerable man for the drugs operation - a practice known as ‘cuckooing.’

In mitigation defence barrister Meredoc McMinn said that his client had been subject to ‘pressure’ from West Midlands criminals and had been simply transporting the drugs.

He added that the grandfather-of-five was ‘remorseful’ at what he had done.

Sentencing, Judge John Ryder QC rejected the argument that there had been pressure and said that Young had been motivated by financial gain.

He said: “For some time this county, like others, have been blighted by the activities of drug dealers who travel from elsewhere. Typically it involves taking over the premises of a vulnerable individual living locally to sell hard drugs and that pattern was followed here.”

Young was jailed for a total of five years - made up of four years for each drugs offence to run concurrently and one year for the bladed article to run consecutively.