A DEALER was caught selling drugs in an area of Bournemouth which faces mounting problems.

London-based Cordell Stewart had heroin and cocaine in the pockets of his hoodie when he was snared by police in West Hill Road on September 20 last year.

The 32-year-old, who lives in Birkbeck Grove, Acton, was seen selling class As to known addicts shortly before 9.30pm.

He was convicted of possession with intent to supply crack cocaine and possession with intent to supply heroin following a trial at Bournemouth Crown Court.

He was sentenced to four years in prison.

The court heard officers who were on patrol in West Hill Road had spotted a group of addicts.

Five minutes later, Stewart arrived and was approached by the group.

The users then walked away after speaking to Stewart.

Police found the defendant in a car parked nearby and detained him so he could be searched.

Wraps of suspected drugs were found in the right pocket of his top, while more wraps held together with cling film were found in his left pocket.

The officers also seized cash and a mobile phone.

Stewart was arrested and the substances found in his top were taken away to be analysed by police.

They were found to be 32 wraps of heroin and 35 of cocaine.

A 26-year-old woman from Bournemouth, who was also arrested at the scene, was subsequently issued with an adult caution for possession of class B drug cannabis.

Detective Inspector Wayne Seymour, of Bournemouth CID, has warned dealers like Stewart that Dorset is no “soft touch”.

“Drug dealing and misuse blights our communities.

“We are committed to tackling this crime and ensuring offenders such as Stewart are caught and brought before the court,” he said.

“Dorset is not a soft touch for out of county dealers coming to Dorset to ply their trade.

“We are always grateful to members of the public for reporting suspected drug dealing or drug related activity to us so we can carrying out proactive targeted patrols.”

As reported in the Daily Echo this month, residents living in the area have called for tougher action to tackle problems with a range of issues on their streets.

Members of the West Hill Community Group say streets in the area are blighted by troubles including vandalism, public drunkenness, drug taking, unswept roads, graffiti and fly-tipping.

Last year, a former councillor said there are “significant problems” with drug dealing and anti-social behaviour in the area, particularly near the Mint and Manchester hotels, both of which are in St Michael’s Road.

The West Hill car park is also badly affected by the problem, he said.

The next meeting of the West Hill Community Group, which is open to local residents, is scheduled to take place at the Connaught Hotel in West Hill Road, at 7pm on Tuesday, June 25.

Anyone with information about suspected drug dealing should report it to Dorset Police via dorset.police.uk or by calling 101.