A drug dealer caught three times selling crack cocaine on the streets in less than a month has been jailed for two years and four months.

Joshua Pilcher, 33, of Norwood Road, Shipley, was under pressure to deal Class A drugs after running up a debt to feed his £20 a day heroin addiction, Bradford Crown Court heard today.

He pleaded guilty to possession of crack cocaine with intent to supply on September 17 and October 1 and 5.

Pilcher also admitted possession of heroin with intent to supply on September 17 and October 5, and three offences of possession of criminal property, totalling £1,403.

Prosecutor Graham O’Sullivan said the first set of offences took place at 9.20am when the police saw a drug deal taking place on Coach Road, Baildon. Officers followed Pilcher, who was driving a Toyota Corolla, into Bradford and detained him.

He was in possession of 150 wraps of crack cocaine and heroin and £96 in cash. Pilcher admitted street dealing to pay off a debt he had run up to feed his £20 a day heroin addiction.

Mr O’Sullivan said that Pilcher was arrested again on October 1 at 8.35pm. This time he was heading for Main Street, Bingley, in a black Volkswagen car when he pulled out in front of police officers, almost colliding with their vehicle.

He had 20 wraps of crack cocaine with him and £507 in cash.

He made no comment in interview but a phone seized from him had evidence of drug dealing on it.

Four days later, Pilcher was caught drug dealing again at 6.54pm on Ferncliffe Road, Bingley, in the same car he was arrested in the last time. He tried to drive off but dropped 20 wraps of crack cocaine and heroin out of the vehicle window. He also had £797 in cash on him.

This time he was remanded in custody and sentenced on a video link to HMP Leeds.

Pilcher’s solicitor advocate, Nicholas Leadbeater, said he had weaned himself off heroin but became depressed during the Covid-19 lockdown and returned to drug abuse.

He was performing a limited function under the direction of others and there was an element of pressure, coercion and intimidation.

Pilcher had no previous convictions and his naivety had been exploited.

Judge Andrew Hatton said he was peddling misery on the streets of West Yorkshire, persisting after twice being released under police investigation.

He conceded that there was an element of pressure and said Pilcher’s previous good character was an important mitigating factor.

Pilcher was jailed for a total of 28 months.