A MARYPORT man caught with £2,000-worth of heroin and £12,000 in cash told police he was simply a “warehouse-man” for more serious drugs criminals.

At Carlisle Crown Court, Liam Shepherd, 25, admitted four offences.

They were: possessing heroin with intent to supply on November 18 last year; a like offence on February 19; possessing the class C drug diazepam; and possessing criminal property - £11,867 in cash.

His advocate, Karen Tunnacliffe, told Judge Peter Davies it was accepted that the defendant, of Princess Drive, Maryport, had a significant role in drug dealing.

“But his instruction to me is that he was warehousing those drugs for others,” said the lawyer.

Responding, prosecutor Beccy McGregor said this was not accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service.

She said Shepherd was caught with bags, scissors and scales bearing heroin traces.

The prosecutor added: “Also he had £12,000 of cash and £2,000 worth of heroin when they searched his address.

“There were numerous scales, which suggests he has been dealing.”

Police also examined the defendant’s mobile phone. In the five days before his arrest, he received 70 calls.

Judge Davies rejected a submission that the competing prosecution and defence versions of Shepherd’s role would not affect the sentence.

“It makes a huge difference,” said the judge.

A further hearing would determine the facts.

Appearing on a video link from his prison, Shepherd occasionally sucked on a lollypop as he listened to the details being outlined.

Remanding him in custody, the judge told him: “You’ll be produced in this court on April 26, when the court will enquire as to how blameworthy you are: whether you were a warehouseman, or rather more involved.”