A DRUG dealer hid more than £20,000 in socks in his loft and laundered thousands of pounds in dirty cash through a bank account in his daughter’s name.

Del Smith admitted possession of cannabis (class B) and Diazepam (class C) with intent to supply and money laundering (possession of criminal money) when he appeared at Worcester Crown Court on Friday.

The offences placed him in breach of a suspended sentence order imposed in November 2015, also imposed for possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

This resulted in an eight month prison sentence suspended for 24 months.

However, by October 2016, less than a year, later Smith was dealing again.

The 28-year-old of Shakespeare Road, Dines Green, was found in possession of eight ounces of cannabis in four clear sandwich bags.

Michael Conry, prosecuting, said Smith’s fingerprints were found on three of the four bags. Smith was stopped again on January 5 this year and found with £1,665 in his pocket.

His mobile phone was seized which contained references to the supply of cannabis.

Smith told police the cash was not criminal proceeds and the money in his bank account was legitimate, earned through painting and decorating, labouring and gambling.

“He said he was addicted to gambling but had been successful as well and made reference to owning a car and a motorbike” said Mr Conry.

Smith was arrested on March 2, 2017 and a search was carried out at his home.

£1,606 was found in a bag in his attic and £19,905 was found in four separate bundles hidden in socks under loft insulation.

Another address associated with the defendant, Shakespeare Road, was also searched where 1kg of skunk cannabis was found valued at between £3,500 and £10,000.

Police also found scales with cannabis residue and 45g of cannabis bush.

In total police recovered about 1.2kg of cannabis.

Mr Conry said a large number of payments had been made into an account in the name of Smith's six-year-old daughter. Mr Conry said there had been £17,000 in this account before he was stopped in January but £7,000 had been withdrawn.

He added: “The crown say he was clearly dealing cannabis on a commercial level over a sustained period of time.”

Harpreet Singh Sandhu, defending, asked that Smith be given credit for his timely guilty pleas, entered at the earliest opportunity at the magistrates court.

Mr Sandhu said Smith had had a drug addiction from the age of 13 when he began taking amphetamines before becoming addicted to cocaine and ecstasy and would take a cocktail of the three drugs.

"He's never been in a position where he's been able to cease that addiction. He's never been in a position to rid himself of the habits which have plagued him and which led him to offend in 2015" Mr Sandhu told the court.

Mr Sandhu said when Smith was jailed, his first experience of custody as an adult, he would have to go 'cold turkey'.

Judge Robert Juckes QC said: "This is a particularly flagrant breach. He has committed exactly the offence the suspended sentence was designed to discourage."

He said Smith supplied eight ounces of skunk cannabis to a man who came to his house. Judge Juckes added: "It's one of the strongest forms of cannabis. It's proven, and now accepted, that it can have significant health effects and can affect how people's minds work and their ability to concentrate."

Judge Juckes sentenced Smith to three years in prison, half of which he can expect to serve in custody and half on licence.

A proceeds of crime timetable was also drawn up which will establish what will be done with the money Smith made from dealing.