A crack cocaine dealer has been told 'prepare for jail' in a case where his co-defendant had £3,000 of drugs hidden up his bottom.

Jonathan Rippard was convicted by unanimous verdict by a jury of possession of crack cocaine and cannabis with intent to supply at Worcester Crown Court on Wednesday after a drugs search at his home.

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However, the 46-year-old was cleared of possession of heroin and crack cocaine with intent to supply in a car, the jury accepting his explanation that, on the occasion of his arrest, he had been dealing class A drugs. As previously reported, police stopped a Mercedes in Three Springs Road in Pershore on December 5, 2018 with three men inside, including Rippard.

A search of Rippard's then home in Rail Ground, Pershore followed two hours later.

That warrant revealed 10.5g of crack cocaine with an estimated street value of £350 in his living room, a wrap of heroin in a kitchen drawer, skunk cannabis worth £210 in a downstairs toilet, 40g of herbal cannabis worth £80 on top of the fridge, an Aldi bag herbal cannabis (145g) valued at £280 in the main bedroom in, more herbal cannabis (100g) valued at £200 in the loft and a quantity of cannabis leaf.

The prosecution case, conducted by Jason Aris, was that the quantity of drugs found was too great to be consistent with personal use.

One of his co-defendants from the car - Alim Ahmed, aged 20 at the time, was found with more than £3,000 of class A drugs inside his buttocks as part of the investigation and was sentenced to three years in prison on April 16, 2020. A further co-defendant - Mohammed Hussain, 32, of Birmingham Road, Walsall, has yet to be sentenced for possession of heroin and crack cocaine with intent to supply.

He admitted the offence on the basis he was involved in the dealing on a single day through some debts that were not drug-related.

Lee Masters, for Rippard, said: "He tells me that he has been addressing his addictions. He has a regular drug worker."

He explained that Rippard now has a methadone prescription. Rippard's sentence was adjourned for a pre-sentence report from the probation service. Bail was granted on condition that Rippard co-operates with probation in the preparation of that report.

Judge Cole told Rippard: "I make plain that in adjourning for that report, all options, including immediate custody, remain open. It is almost inevitable that will be the sentence. You therefore need to put your affairs in order."

He also said: "He is to be sentenced on the basis of the drugs in his own possession. That doesn't necessarily help him because it puts him higher up the chain of command because he wasn't merely a runner."

Rippard, now of Gisborne Gardens, Hampton, Evesham must return for his sentencing hearing is expected to take place at Worcester Crown Court on February 11 this year.