A DRUG dealer who worked as a “runner” for others “higher up the chain” has been sent to a young offenders' institute.

Jamie Stockton, 20, appeared for sentencing at Liverpool Crown Court on Friday.

The court heard he had earlier pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of cocaine and possession with intent to supply cannabis between August 9 and September 25, 2020 while the defendant was aged 18.

The court heard that Stockton’s drug dealing was uncovered after police found cannabis and a small quantity of cocaine, along with £2,540, a mobile phone in a bedroom at his address.

Prosecuting Chris Hopkins said the police entered Stockton’s address after they had seen a “scooter being ridden recklessly in St Helens which was ”abandoned” on Rodney Street.

“Police entered the address and a bedroom was searched and cannabis found in his bedroom. The defendant was interviewed the next day in custody and he said the cannabis and cocaine were for his own use.”

Mr Hopkins added the mobile phone showed “conversations between the defendant and somebody else”.

They made reference to drugs, Mr Hopkins said and “it appears the defendant was working for somebody else”.

The court heard Stockton had been involved in "street dealing" of cannabis and "transportation" of the Class A drug, cocaine.

Defending, Mike Hegarty said the messages on the phone were “indicative of transportation, that’s the role the defendant has played.

He added that Stockton had been “excluded from school” at 13 and had “no formal education since”.

Mr Hegarty said Stockton has a three-year-old daughter, and said “there’s naivety, immaturity and had suffered “exploitation”.

He said that he had “accrued a debt” due to his cannabis use which led to a “vicious circle” of “selling the cannabis to pay the debt and is while selling it increasing the debt”.

Passing a sentence of 27 months in a young offenders’ institute, judge Recorder David Knifton QC said Stockton “had an operational function” and “must have had some awareness of the scale of the operation.”

The judge said to Stockton: “You are still 20 and have no previous convictions, it’s very sad to read from the pre-sentence report that you were excluded from school due to various behavioral issues”.

He said Stockton had “drifted through life” and it is perhaps unsurprising that you came into contact with those who have an interest in controlled drugs.”

The judge added to Stockton, of Knowles House Close, Eccleston: “I hope that at some stage that you are going to wake up to the fact that you a young man with responsibilities.

“You have a partner but more significantly you have a three-year-old daughter. What sort of example are you setting by your actions?”

He added: “The regrettable conclusions of the author of the pre-sentence report that the custodial sentence which must follow may regrettably have the effect of exposing you to more sophisticated criminals.

“It will take a good deal of courage and hard work on your part to resist the temptation, because if you do, you will find yourself back in front of the courts in a revolving door pattern as is regrettably the case for so many who appear before courts.”