A DRUG dealer who was snared after he accidentally dropped a bag of cocaine in a bar has been jailed.
Cocaine user and dealer Darren King was out in Church Street, Hartlepool, when he dropped a small bag of the Class A drug.
It was picked up by a woman who handed it to police and pointed out King.
He was found to be hiding another three bags of cocaine on him, and caused police to search his house where more of the drug was discovered.
King, a dad-of-one who had no criminal record, was locked up for two years at Teesside Crown Court.
The judge said he needed to send out a strong message to others.
Richard Parsell, prosecuting, said: “As a result of his arrest, a search was conducted at his premises.
“More drugs were found, together with scales and substances which can be used in the preparation or mixing of cocaine.”
Just over 14 grams of cocaine was recovered from the house.
King, 28, said the drugs he had in the bar – worth around £170 – were for his own use.
He admitted the cocaine found at his house, which was slightly stronger in purity, was to supply other users.
It was worth just under £400.
Robin Denny, mitigating, said: “His involvement in these matters is on a fairly low level.
“He has shown a great deal of remorse from becoming involved and the considerable upset that it has caused his family.”
King, of Gilberti Place, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine with intent to supply on September 12 last year.
Jailing him, Judge George Moorhouse said: “You have pleaded guilty. I accept you were relatively low level and have no previous convictions, but having said that, this offence justifies wholeheartedly a custodial sentence.
“It must go out as a warning to others.”