A drug dealer has been jailed after he was caught selling heroin outside the main library in Barnstaple in broad daylight.

Andrew Bloor was seen on CCTV getting out of a taxi and taking money off a known user, before selling him a wrap of heroin for £20.

He tried to swallow the other seven wraps which he was carrying but police forced his mouth open and recovered the rest of the drugs, which had a street value of at least £175.

Bloor, aged 38, who is now homeless but previously lived at Riddell Avenue, Barnstaple, admitted possession of a class A drug with intent to supply and was jailed for two years, three months by Recorder Emma Zeb at Exeter Crown Court.

Miss Zeb told him the damage caused by drugs in the community meant that the only possible sentence was immediate imprisonment.

Andrew Bloor.Andrew Bloor.

She said the jail term was reduced because Bloor had been pressurised into selling drugs on behalf of another man and was only doing so to feed his own habit.

William Hunter, prosecuting, said Bloor arrived outside the library in Tuly Street, Barnstaple, in a taxi just after 3pm on August 20, last year.

He said: “He got out of the taxi and approached a known drug user who gave him money, some of which he used to pay the driver.

“He walked back across the road and passed a small amount of heroin.

“He was arrested within seconds and searched. Police realised he had something in his mouth and an officer stopped him from swallowing it.

“Two wraps were recovered and another five from his wallet.”

Bloor had £24 cash, two phones, one of which had messages offering drugs, using phrases like ‘I’m back on’. They showed he had been dealing for about three weeks.

Hollie Gilbery, defending, said Bloor was coerced into dealing by a man called Gus and was being paid in drugs rather than cash.

He is already working with probation and the drugs service and is keen to enter a rehab programme.