POLICE came across an intoxicated man carrying a bag containing drugs, while also in possession of an imitation firearm and cut-throat razor shortly after midnight on a town street, a court heard.

Karl O’Kane, who appeared nervous and unsteady on his feet, tried to jettison the razor, throwing it into a bush, on Durham Road, Stanley.

Durham Crown Court was told the bag was found to contain an amount of amphetamines and diazepam tablets, while O’Kane also had smaller quantities of cocaine and cannabis.

Chris Baker, prosecuting, said a BB gun, which was not capable of being discharged, was recovered from O’Kane’s trousers.

One of the arresting officers said O’Kane told him he had been threatened as people were after him.

He told the officers they were doing him a favour as he was in debt to others, while he also asked if the BB gun was legal.

Police searching his house came across cutting agent for the drugs, a dealers’ list indicative of a brisk trade, with some customers in arrears by up to £800.

The 32-year-old defendant, of South View, Craghead, near Stanley, admitted possessing class B and C drugs with intent to supply, possession of cocaine, an imitation firearm and a knife or sharply-bladed implement.

Dan Cordey, for O’Kane, said he has no previous offences related to dealing in drugs, having kept out of trouble since 2014.

Mr Cordey said since his arrest, on July 6, 2019, O’Kane has sbeen trying to, “get his life back on track”, and no longer takes drugs.

He also hopes to find work in the hospitality industry, perhaps to progress to become a chef, while he has also done bar work.

Mr Cordey said, as O’Kane told police, he was doing the bidding of others in terms of the drugs and suggested O’Kane should be considered, “a low-level dealer.”

“He developed an addiction and, to buy his way out of his debts, succumbed to pressure from others to get involved.”

Mr Cordey added that the BB gun was incapable of being fired but was carried by O’Kane as reassurance as he was “paranoid” after a previous attack.

Judge Ray Singh said, “a reasonable inference” was that he had it on him to protect the drugs.

“Sometimes drugs and firearms go together to protect the stash being carried.”

Judge Singh said the dealer’s list was evidence of the “significant financial incentive”, even at the low-levels.

But he told O’Kane it was to his advantage that he made his prompt admissions and did not try to string out his involvement.

The judge imposed immediate prison sentences totalling 14 months and ordered forfeiture and destruction of the drugs and weapons seized by police.