A DRUG dealer from Hereford has avoided going to prison after he was found with nearly £900 of cocaine on the streets of Hereford.

Worcester Crown Court was told how police had stopped two men, one of which was Sam Eric Juckes, on a railway bridge in the city on October 5, 2021.

Prosecution barrister Ian Ball said officers found 22 wraps of cocaine worth £880 in his pocket, a small amount of cash and an iPhone.

A further £280 of cash was found hidden in a trainer at his home, and messages on the phone made it clear to officers that he was concerned in the supply of drugs.

Messages showed how he had offered discounts, negotiated prices and told people to "get at me" several times a day for weeks in the messages to tens of people.

Juckes, 22, had no previous convictions and pleaded guilty to possession of class A drugs and being concerned in the supply of cocaine, defence barrister Naomi Nelson-Cofie said.

She also said Juckes had a "sad" background, struggling in school and with his relationship with his parents.

She said Juckes wasn't aggressive but had an inability to say no and was naive.

She said the offending wasn't sophisticated, only covered a short period, some five weeks, and did not make substantial money from the dealing.

Convinced to suspend the two-year prison sentence for two years, Judge Jim Tindal told Juckes how drugs destroy lives.

He said it might seem an easy way to make a little money, but it "blights" lives, causes people to die and end up in prison.

The judge said he was suspending the sentence as there was strong personal mitigation, including from Juckes's step father, and a realistic prospect of rehabilitation.

He told Juckes, of Wellbrook Close, Hereford, he must also carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and complete 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

He also ordered for the cash to be forfeited, and the drugs to be forfeited and destroyed.