A FATHER who dealt “evil” class A drugs through a county lines operation in Braintree has been jailed.

Barrington Edwards, of Colchester Road, Halstead, admitted being concerned in the supply of heroin and in the supply of cocaine.

Alexa Le Moine, prosecuting, told Chelmsford Crown Court Edwards ran a drugs line known as “AJ”, which was in operation between Mar 27 and Aug 22 this year.

The 44-year-old sent out “regular bulk marketing messages”, with 30 to 50 sent out on each occasion.

Analysis from Essex Police showed regular co-location of both his personal and drug phone, with regular travel between London and Essex, sometimes three times per month.

On August 22, a warrant was executed in one of the addresses the defendant was related to, where officers found drugs hidden in socks as well as both Edwards’ phone and the AJ phone.

A further warrant was executed at the home address in Colchester Road, Halstead, where digital scales were found, before more drugs were found following a third warrant at an address in London.

The total amount of drugs seized was 6.57g of cocaine, 33.23g of heroin, the court was told.

Edwards was arrested and interviewed but denied knowledge of the drugs line or involvement in dealing beyond being a user himself.

Conal Bailie, mitigating, argued there was a “specified start point and reason for the criminality”, citing personal family grievances heavily affecting Edwards.

He also noted how Edwards had completed some drugs courses in an attempt to reconcile his actions.

Addressing the defendant, Judge David Turner KC said: “People who supply class A drugs as evil as cocaine and heroin receive very little sympathy from the court.

“These drugs cause addiction and wreck people’s lives.

“You are someone who I don’t doubt is capable of being a good father, but you have provided a very poor example to your children and have let down those mothers who are caring for them.”

Edwards was sentenced to three years in prison, half of which is on licence.

Judge Turner also ordered for the drugs to be destroyed.