A DRUG dealer who was selling crack cocaine and heroin is facing a minimum of seven years in prison because he was caught for a third time.

James Hancock appeared at Worcester Crown Court over videolink from HMP Hewell on Monday where he admitted a string of class A drugs offences.

The 39-year-old of St Andrew's Road, Pershore, admitted possession of crack cocaine with intent to supply on January 17 this year and again on January 29 this year.

He further admitted possession of cocaine and heroin with intent to supply and possession of criminal property (£5,151 in cash), all offences which took place on January 29 this year.

Judge Jim Tindal said in an ideal world the case would have been listed for a videolink hearing of some duration or for the defendant to be produced at court rather than for a 15 minute hearing in 'a very busy list'.

"I don't think I could do the case justice today" Judge Tindal told the defendant, prosecutor Michael Conry and defence solicitor Barry Newton as he adjourned the case.

He said it was a case that would be subject to a seven year minimum sentence because the defendant was a 'third striker' which means he has two relevant previous convictions for the supply of drugs.

This seven year sentence would be reduced based on the amount of credit Hancock will receive for his guilty pleas or if the defence is able to demonstrate that it would be unjust for the minimum seven year tariff to be imposed.

The judge added: "That isn't something we can realistically do in the remaining 10 minutes of this slot. It would be carnage for other cases in the list."

He listed the case for a 45 minute hearing on March 9 this year.

Speaking to Hancock directly, the judge said this would give the prosecution and Mr Newton 'that time to fully explain the circumstances so that everyone is clear the effect of the law is that, because of the fact you have two relevant previous convictions for drug supply, that means the sentence is seven years less a small amount of time for a guilty plea'.

The defendant remains in custody.