A TEENAGER turned to dealing cocaine and heroin to repay a drug debt after being kicked out of his home at Christmas, a court heard.

Luke Lackenby, 20, of the Quantock flats in Chichester Road, Southend was caught with four wraps of heroin and cocaine at the tower blocks.

He appeared in Basildon Crown Court yesterday charged with two counts of possessing a controlled drug of heroin and cocaine with intent to supply and possessing a controlled drug of weed.

The hearing was told he suffered a “particularly unhappy childhood” due to a history of drug abuse and violence with his parents.

Prosecuting Peter Clark said: “On January 1 police attended Quantock flats in Southend and they saw Mr Lackenby walking towards known drug users.

“He was found with four wraps of drugs and £50 in cash the total street value of the drugs was £80. A phone was seized and with a message as a reminder to deal drugs in the stairwell.

“There was another message where he said he was not a charity worker but a crack dealer.”

Kevin Toomey, mitigation, told the court the youngster had a difficult childhood and racked up drug debts.

He said: “He is a young man and was 19 at the time, with a sad family history with seven sibling and three are in care.

“There’s a history of domestic violence and drug abuse with his parents. He was living with his mother and on Christmas Eve after an argument with his brother he was thrown out.

“That’s how he was at the address found and came to use Class A drugs and become addicted. He started to work for them due to a debt he could not pay back.

“The message about the crack dealer was bravado,”

Sentencing Lackenby Judge Andrew Hurst said: “I understand it was particularly difficult circumstances and you had a particularly unhappy childhood with things no child should experience.

“You have the benefit of a relationship and you can make a new life and get a trade and work.”

He was sentenced to 18 months in prison