A DEALER who was found sleeping on a sofa next to two mobile phones used to advertise drugs, knives, and drug scales has been put behind bars.

Tommy Aldridge was jailed on at Basildon Crown Court on Friday for a total of 37 months after admitting two counts of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.

On August 2, specialist officers at Essex Police entered a home in Arundel Road, Wickford, to respond to concerns that a vulnerable person’s home had been taken over by drug dealers.

Inside, they found the 21-year-old asleep on an armchair.

Directly in front of him on a table were two mobile phones, knives, a sock with golf balls inside, scales and other drug paraphernalia.


Both phones, a Nokia and a Motorola, were found to be active drug lines and were used in the supply of crack cocaine and heroin.

Investigating officers were able to prove the Nokia had contacted drug users as recently as three-and-a-half-hours before officers entered the property.

The messages also named ‘Tommy’ as the sender.

Aldridge, of Arundel Road, Wickford, was sentenced to 31 months in jail on each count, to run concurrently.

A suspended sentence was also activated, so a further six months were added to this sentence, given a total of 37 months.

PC Dan Onley, of Op Raptor South, said: “Unbeknownst to Aldridge, we had all the information we needed to convict him before we even arrested him in Wickford in August.

“The case we had against him was so overwhelming, he had no option but to admit his guilt.

“Aldridge is still young, and he has time to turn his life around and he will be given the support to do that should he want to.

“I hope he uses his time in prison to reassess his life plans. Drug dealing in Essex simply does not pay.”