A DEALER began selling heroin and cocaine after people kept asking him for drugs because he's black, a court heard.

Marvin Jackson was jailed on his birthday at Worcester Crown Court yesterday (Thursday) after admitting being concerned in the supply of heroin and crack cocaine and possession of a knife as he tried to ‘stamp his authority’ as a Worcester dealer.

Jackson's defence solicitor said people assumed Jackson was a dealer because he's black, so he started selling drugs to make money.

Even after he was arrested and bailed last October, the 34-year-old continued dealing the drugs in Worcester from his then home in Malvern.

Jackson was dealing for four months between September 20 last year and January 21 this year after he lost his job and he kept getting mistaken for a dealer by people in Malvern.

Police identified a drugs supply chain called the JP line operating in Worcester which was being used by Jackson to sell heroin and crack cocaine.

A Range Rover Evoque registered to Jackson’s partner at her address in Ransoms Close, Malvern was stooped in the A449 just outside Powick on October 1 last year.

Jackson, the front passenger, and his partner who was driving were both arrested and a ‘dirty’ Nokia phone linked to the JP line was seized.

Police also seized a sheathed hunting knife with a 19cm blade from the boot and a single wrap of heroin from the front passenger door pocket, as well as £138 in cash, the proceeds of Jackson’s dealing.

John Brotherton, prosecuting, said the phone was analysed and police found 58 bulk messages sent out to known drug users saying ‘active’ and advertising ‘fat shots’ (large deals of crack cocaine) and ‘fat bags’ (large deals of heroin).

An additional phone was recovered from the Ransoms Close address and WhatsApp messages showed further evidence of Jackson’s dealing.

Mr Brotherton said: “The defendant has issues with another dealer or dealers. He is trying to stamp his authority on the area. There’s reference made to ‘the blue line’ and how the defendant is going to ‘sort out the blue line’.”

The messages also said ‘people in Worcester want their drugs quickly’ and ‘you have got to be on the ball and get in there first’.

One of the messages read: “I’m going to eradicate these geezers. Blue is going to get it. I know his spot.”

Mr Brotherton said: “It demonstrates almost a drugs war in that regard.”

Jackson told officers the knife had been left in his car by ‘an ex-gang member’. After he was bailed he carried on dealing until he was arrested at his home in Wellington Road, Handsworth on January 22 this year.

Police found a second dirty phone hidden in a plant pot in an upstairs bathroom. The Nokia was analysed and contained messages which said ‘active’ and ‘got both’. The messages also suggested Jackson was dealing drugs in Cripplegate Park in Worcester.

The court heard that Jackson had previously served seven years for robbery. He had only been due to serve two years as part of one of the first Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) orders in 2005 but had not been informed he was supposed to complete certain courses, some of which had not been available, before he was released.

Mark Sheward, defending, said that when Jackson was released in 2012 he secured work as a maintenance engineer for the Highways Agency where he worked for six years.

However, Jackson was dismissed because he lost his driving licence, and then moved to Malvern to be with his partner.

“While in Malvern he would be approached by people who would say to him ‘have you got any drugs?’ They approached him because he was black and you don’t see many black people in Malvern. He thought ‘perhaps that’s a way of making money’. That’s what he did essentially.”

Mr Sheward disputed that it was ‘County Lines’ drug dealing as his client had been living in Malvern at the time and dealing the drugs in Worcester.

He said his client admitted the offences in magistrates court and stressed that the knife was never used or brandished.

Recorder David Chinery described the case as ‘particularly sad’ as Jackson was quite capable of making money legitimately and said it was ‘a matter of regret’ that he turned to the supply of drugs after losing his job.

The judge jailed him for five years and eight months in total, four years for being concerned in the supply of heroin, five years (concurrent) for being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine and eight months (consecutive) for possession of the knife.

The judge authorised the forfeiture and destruction of the drugs and the knife.