A DRUG dealer caught trying to flush rocks of crack cocaine down the toilet during a police raid has been jailed.

Shaun Hope pleaded guilty following his arrest but his two co-defendants who were facing trial had their prosecutions dropped, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Vicki Lamballe, prosecuting, told how police incapacitated the defendant before recovering 26 crack cocaine rocks from the toilet and a further seven from the living room.

The 19-year-old, of Dorchester Close, Stockton, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply a Class A drug as a result of the police operation in January 2018 when he was just 17.

In mitigation, Jonathan Walker said his client had struggled with drug addiction for a number of years and had been in the care system as a youth.

He added: "This is one of those situations where the defendant was only just 17 and vulnerable having being in care part of the time and found himself with a significant drug addiction and drug debt."

Judge Paul Watson QC told Hope he had 'quite a considerable record going back quite a long way for someone so young'.

He sentenced Hope to 30 weeks in custody saying he had taken into account the defendant's age at the time of the offence and the lesser role he played in the drug supply chain.

The judge added: "I don't think that will mean you stay in custody for very much longer but you will serve a 30 week term in custody."