A DRUG dealer who barricaded himself into a house along with three other people when police came to raid it has been jailed.

Judge Simon Medland QC said he would be failing in his public duty if he didn’t jail Jak Joseph Phillips despite acknowledging he was a victim of the so-called ‘county lines’ scenario.

County lines is where people higher up in inter-city drug dealing gangs install people lower down the order into houses, often of drug addicts, in smaller towns to deal drugs.

Prosecuting, Paul Dockery said Phillips and his co-defendant Thomas Grimes Callaghan travelled from Liverpool to deal in Accrington towards the end of 2016.

And on December 11, 2016 - two days before the raid - their co-defendant and drug addict Sheree Louise Neil invited them to stay in the attic of her former home in Marsden Avenue, Accrington.

Mr Dockery said that when police executed a search warrant on the house on December 13 they were unable to get through the barricaded front or back doors. So officers had to smash a downstairs window to get into the property.

After finding nobody on the ground or first floors they went up to the attic, which had a bed pushed up against the door. When they got inside they found the three defendants and a fourth person, Jason McCash.

During a search of the property, police found £400 under a bed in the attic, 45 wraps of heroin, 52 wraps of cocaine and £140 cash in the eaves of the attic, and various mobile phones found with drug dealing-related messages on them. In the living room officers found weighing scales with traces of heroin and cocaine on them.

Phillips, 21, of Brookdale, Southport, and Grimes Callaghan , 20, of Hornby Road, Liverpool, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of a Class A drug to another. Neil, 36, of Fox Street, Accrington, pleaded guilty to allowing her premises to be used for drug dealing.

Phillips was jailed for 32 months, Grimes Callaghan was given 16 months in a young offenders institution, suspended for two years, and Neil was given eight months, suspended for two years.

Philip Boyd, defending Neil, whose has had all of her children had been taken into care, said: “This lady was a vulnerable addict in a run-down house who was used very much because of her camouflage for what was happening in terms of drug activity.”

Defending Phillips, Charles Lander said his client and Grimes Callaghan were only in Accrington for a matter of days.

Defending Grimes Callaghan, Sarah Magill said her client’s best mitigation was his age, guilty plea and previous good character.