A DEALER was caught red-handed in central Carlisle with a drugs stash worth almost £1,500 along with a burner phone, flick knife and knuckle duster.

Two PCs watched as 22-year-old Reece Holmes carried out an illegal transaction in the area of St Pauls Square, off Spencer Street, on September 23 last year.

Peter Wilson, prosecuting, told Carlisle Crown Court: “They searched the defendant. He resisted and attempted to run off but was arrested at that point.”

Thirty-three knotted plastic packages containing 13.1g of cocaine cut with an adulterant were recovered from Holmes. So, too, were four foil packages bearing almost 10g of cannabis; 30 tramadol tablets; and 42 diazepam tablets.

The drugs stash had a total potential street value of up to £1,465.

“A lock knife was found on him. A knuckle duster was taken from his pocket,” said Mr Wilson.

Holmes was also in possession of a “graft” Nokia burner mobile phone used for his drug-dealing enterprise which was found to bear damning data.

“That contained messages and also a price list saved in the ‘notes’ section,” added the prosecutor. “This clearly is street dealing.”

Holmes, of Longholme Road, Carlisle, admitted possessing all the substances with intent to supply, and illegally having the blade and weapon in public.

Marion Weir, mitigating, said Holmes had no previous convictions and had made candid admissions in the aftermath.

Of the weapons, she said: “They weren’t brandished. There were no threats made. He told officers where they were.”

Holmes also confessed that his offending had been going on for around a year, the court heard.

Background information referred to the breakdown of Holmes’ family unit earlier in his life, a transient lifestyle and drug use which began at the age of 15 and then continued from 18 after an accident.

Issues with an absence of consequential thinking were also identified. But he had not committed any crimes in the meantime and, said Ms Weir: “He wants to get his head down, and his sentence done.”

Judge Nicholas Barker jailed Holmes for a total of 32 months.

“You were giving instructions, prices and where to meet,” the judge said of his criminal conduct.

“I have no doubt that whilst you were doing this, you were well aware that should you be caught you would be receiving a custodial sentence.

“Well, that risk has matured. You are now stood here in the dock. You will face a custodial sentence.”