A dangerous driver who fled the scene after crashing into a parked car while driving on the wrong side of the road was swiftly arrested as burner phones and drugs were found in his car.

Omar Amar, 31, was jailed for five years for his role supplying crack cocaine and heroin to users in the Southend area.

Officers attended the scene of the crash, in Royston Avenue, Southend, shortly after midnight on January 7 this year.

A witness reported seeing the driver of an Audi, which had crashed into a parked vehicle, leave the scene.

The witness told police prior to the incident the vehicle had been driving on the wrong side of the road along East Street.

Attending officers completed a search of the abandoned Audi, finding a Nokia "burner" phone, a small amount of cash and a small bag containing suspected Class A drugs.

Messages on the phone were shown to be consistent with crack cocaine and heroin supply.

The Audi was registered to the defendant, who was insured to drive the vehicle.

Later that same day, at around 4am, a further call to Essex Police's force control room reported a suspicious male in the garden of a property.

Amar was spotted on foot in Bournemouth Park Road after a search of the area and, noting his suspicious behaviour and the clothes matching descriptions given by witnesses, officers swiftly arrested him.

Searches were carried out at two addresses linked to Amar, with mobile phones, scales and various notes seized.

Amar was attributed to a known drug line operating in the Southend area.

Amar, of Forest Road, London, was charged with being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs, dangerous driving and failing to stop after a collision.

Appearing at Basildon Crown Court on Wednesday, the drug dealer admitted all charges and was sentenced to a total of five years imprisonment.

He was further banned from driving for three years from the date of his release.

DS Rob Maile, of our specialist drugs team Op Raptor, said: “This investigation relied on good partnership work between Local Policing Team officers and specialist drugs officers with Op Raptor South.

“His manner of driving could have resulted in a far worse outcome, and thanks to the fast work of responding officers, Amar was arrested soon after he abandoned his vehicle.

“With his links to drug dealing established, we were able to gather intelligence which irrefutably linked him to a known drug line in the Southend area.

“This case is a prime example of the co-ordinated work which continues across the force every day, leaving criminals committed to dealing drugs in Essex with little room for manoeuvre.

“It is always a matter of ‘when’, not ‘if’, they are caught.”