A drug dealer has been jailed after police caught him red-handed as he bagged up cocaine in a seaside guest house.

Nathaniel Bannister ran his own cannabis dealing operation and was press-ganged into selling cocaine when he ran into debt with his supplier.

He was caught using identical pieces of plastic to wrap up street deals of both drugs when police raided the Shelley Court bed and breakfast in Torquay.

He had a sheath knife on the bed to protect the drugs and had £1,270 cash hidden in the bedside table and a Jimmy Choo shoe box.

Bannister had £5,000 worth of cocaine along with a large amount of creatine mixing agent but said he was looking after them for someone else.

Officers also found 14 sets of trainers when they raided the same room a month later and caught him with a fresh supply of cannabis.

Nathaniel Bannister has been jailed for two years and four months

Bannister, aged 25, of Warbro Road, Torquay, admitted possession of cocaine and cannabis with intent to supply and possession of criminal property.

He was jailed for two years and four months by Judge Peter Johnson at Exeter Crown Court.

He told him: ”It is of note that the carrier bags you were using to wrap the cocaine, you were also using to bag up the cannabis which you were dealing.

“This court often hears about threats to those convicted. Those involved in dealing know the risks and know the pressure that is often, if not invariably applied, with threats of violence, or worse.”

Mr Herc Ashworth, prosecuting, said police raided Bannister’s bedsit at the Shelley Court Hotel in the afternoon of May 23 last year and found 51 grams of cocaine with a street value of £5,010, 173 grams of cannabis worth £1,735, 680 grams of creatine and £1,270 cash.

The money was divided up into three bundles, one on the bedside table, another inside it and £200 in the Jimmy Choo box. They found more cannabis and 14 pairs of trainers during a second raid on June 21.

A total of seven phones were seized which included drug texts, including 7,000 to or from cannabis buyers.

Mr Paul Dentith, defending, said Bannister ran up a debt to a notoriously violent drug gang when he bought cannabis in bulk and was unable to sell it as quickly as he hoped.

He was pressured into street dealing but refused and instead agreed to look after the cocaine which was found at his flat.

He said he has now broken his links to dealers and moved away from Shelley Court, which Mr Dentith described as ‘a dreadful place to live where may residents were drug users and which had insecure doors’.

He said Bannister had not made money out of dealing and the 14 pairs of trainers found by police had been bought over many years or were gifts from family and friends.





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