A 50-YEAR-OLD man from Chester has been jailed for four years after admitting class A drug dealing offences.

More than 100 wraps of heroin and crack cocaine were seized when officers executed a warrant at Shaun Shirtliff’s home in Bouverie Street.

The drugs seized during the raid had a street value of more than £1,300.

The vast majority of the drugs were in a plastic bag that fell out of one of Shirtliff’s pockets as he was being arrested, while several wraps were found outside the house after Shirtliff had been spotted trying to dispose of them.

Officers investigating county lines drug dealing carried out the raid at around 4pm on Thursday, April 9.

They did so after receiving intelligence indicating that the address was being used as a base for drug dealing.

Pieces of paper containing information and figures that experts believe relate to drug dealing were found during the raid.

Shirtliff was subsequently charged with two counts of possession with intent to supply class A drugs (heroin and crack cocaine).

He pleaded guilty to the offences and was sentenced at Chester Crown Court on Wednesday, June 3.

Prosecuting, Chris Hopkins said 69 wraps of heroin and 118 wraps of cocaine were discovered.

Shirtliff had previously been jailed for a similar offence in 2016 and was out on licence at the time of the new drug-dealing offences.

Defending, Chris Hunt said Shirtliff had lived "a miserable existence", having been addicted to drugs for 30 years, and had been "literally living in the gutter" in the past.

After his release from prison in 2018, he had been co-operating with the probation service, but had had a relapse, and the death of his brother had not helped his mental health.

He had also recently been stabbed before his arrest.

Shirtliff accepted that custody was "the only way forward" and hoped the probation service would help keep him away from the areas where he got involved in drugs.

Judge Patrick Thompson, sentencing, told Shirtliff: "You know better than anyone the misery that these drugs cause to the lives of those who use them.

"You have already served a significant prison sentence for exactly the same offences. You were on licence and it is a significant aggravating feature."

Shirtliff was jailed for four years and ordered to pay a £181 victim surcharge, while the drugs were forfeited and destroyed.

Judge Thompson warned Shirtliff that if he dealt class A drugs again, the automatic minimum jail term he would receive would be seven years.

Detective Sergeant Stuart Needham, of Chester Local Policing Unit (LPU), said: “I would like to thank all the officers involved in this case for all their hard work in securing this conviction.

“Due to their endeavours, a drug dealer is behind bars facing the consequences of his actions and more than £1,300 worth of heroin and crack cocaine has been intercepted before it could be sold on our streets.

“Removing those involved in dealing illegal drugs from our streets is of paramount importance as they have a hugely detrimental impact on our communities.

“They cause untold damage to the lives of both the people who get addicted to them and the wider community who suffer from the resulting crime.

“Drug dealing in Chester or anywhere else in Cheshire will not be tolerated and I hope this case deters others from getting involved in the supply of illegal drugs.”

Detective Constable Keith Campbell, who led the investigation on behalf of Chester LPU, added: “I am delighted that Shirtliff has been jailed and our focus now shifts to other offenders who blight communities with illegal drugs.

“As this case shows, information we receive from members of the public plays a key role in our fight against illegal drugs and those who supply them.

“I urge anyone with any information about suspected drug related activity in their community to get in touch. You will be listened to and we will investigate the matter.

“You can report suspected drug dealing to us directly by calling 101 or via our website at https://www.cheshire.police.uk/ro/report.

“Alternatively, information can also be given anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.”