A TEENAGE drug dealer has been jailed after selling cocaine and ecstasy near Hereford Cathedral School.

Dominic Aldridge, of Hampton Park Road, Hereford, was given a 30-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to selling class A drugs in Cathedral Close and in a city nightclub.

Hereford Crown Court heard how Aldridge, aged 17, was caught with 71 ecstasy tablets and a wrap of cocaine in the Lock Up Nightclub on July 22 while on bail.

The court was told that Aldridge was granted bail earlier in July after he was found with 6.85 grammes of cocaine and 447 ecstasy tablets in Cathedral Close.

David Maunder, defending, said Aldridge came from "a very respectable family", which had been left devastated by his actions.

He said: "This is a desperately unhappy situation. He is only just over 17-and-a-half and has never been so much as arrested or been in any trouble before," he said.

Mr Maunder added that Aldridge had been supplying a small group of friends and acquaintances, and had behaved impeccably since his arrest at the nightclub.

"To take him out of society would be pure punishment and would freeze his development until such a time when he can return," he said.

But Judge David Matthews said Aldridge had committed a "grave offence" which merited a custodial sentence.

"On the afternoon of July 7 you were in Cathedral Close. It is an area that is heavily used by young people and you knew it was adjacent to schools and, in particular, Hereford Cathedral School," he said.

"You were granted bail and your response was to repeat the offence 15 days later in a local nightclub, also frequented by young people."

Judge Matthews, who warned of the dangers of drugs, said Aldridge could have faced a six-year jail sentence had he been an adult.

"These are grave offences," he added. "It has to be understood that if anyone deals in Class A drugs in these places, in these types of circumstances, it is inevitable that there is going to be a detention or prison sentence."