A drug user has been jailed for two years after police caught him with a stash of heroin and crack cocaine.
Kevin Clark, 37, who started using heroin when he was just 15, almost choked to death when he tried to swallow the drugs, Teesside Crown Court heard.
He had bought them out of a £300 insurance payout which he withdrew from the bank the same day.
Clark panicked when he visited his brother’s house in Whitburn Street, Hartlepool, on May 12, and walked straight into the police who were there investigating a burglary.
Rosalind Scott-Bell, prosecuting, told the court: “As he saw the police he ran up the stairs with his hands in his pockets.
“Officers chased and detained the defendant who had begun to struggle.
“During the struggle the defendant placed the packages into his mouth and he began to choke on the packages.
“An ambulance was called and medical assistance was given.”
Clark, of Bodmin Grove, Hartlepool, was found to have five small bags of heroin on him with an estimated street value of £185 and 10 clingfilm packets of crack cocaine said to be worth about £200.
He pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing a class A drug with intent to supply on a basis he would have given some of the drugs to friends.
The court heard he has two similar previous convictions including one when he was just 16.
In July 2003, Clark was jailed for three years after supplying an undercover police officer with heroin.
He also has convictions for possession of drugs, burglary, theft and handling stolen goods.
Martin Scarborough, mitigating, said his arrest had been a wake up call adding: “It’s clear from this man’s background that heroin has been the blight of his life and heroin has been the cause of his offending.
“He seems to be trying to get himself off the drugs and turn his life around.”
Jailing Clark, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC said the sentence could not be suspended.