A DRUG dealer who had substances hidden inside him has been jailed after police caught him 'cuckooing' at a house in Dorchester.

Warren Easterbrook, 25, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison at Bournemouth Crown Court after being found guilty of two offences of possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply following a trial.

Dorset Police said shortly before 8pm on Wednesday, November 29 last year, officers in Dorchester carried out a safeguarding visit to the address of a vulnerable resident in Cambridge Road.

As part of their efforts to tackle ‘cuckooing’ and ‘county lines’ drug supply offences - whereby dealers from out of the county set up in the home of vulnerable drug users to deal in the area - officers regularly carry out safeguarding visits to those deemed vulnerable to exploitation.

On this occasion the resident claimed he was at home alone with his girlfriend but officers could see he was visibly distressed.

They entered the property using powers under section 17 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.

The officers found two men in the living room, one of whom was the defendant.

Easterbrook was searched and £910 in cash was found in the lining of the coat he was wearing. A search of the flat also uncovered a quantity of white powder, believed to be a Class A drug.

The defendant was taken to custody and then to hospital for a full examination as it was suspected that he may have an amount of drugs hidden inside him.

He later passed a package, the contents of which were analysed and found to contain 38 wraps of heroin and eight wraps of crack cocaine. The total value of the drugs was estimated at around £840.

Speaking after the case, Inspector Neil Wood, of Dorchester police, said: “We recognise the issues we have with dealers from out of the area setting up in the homes of vulnerable people to use it as a base to supply drugs.

“The safeguarding visits we carry out on a regular basis are a vital tool in tackling this kind of offending and this case demonstrates how they can help identify those responsible.

“I hope it also shows that dealers such as Easterbrook who commit these kind of offences will be brought to justice before the courts.”