A drug addict who was bullied into letting his home be used for drug dealing by a County Lines gang has been spared an immediate jail sentence.

Carl Ackland was 'cuckooed' by a London dealer who moved into is one bedroomed flat in Westward Ho! and gave him heroin in return for helping him.

He was an unemployed addict who was exploited by the London gang because of his desperation for heroin. The dealer had gone back to London when police raided the flat.

Ackland, aged 34, of Atlantic Way, Westward Ho!, admitted two counts of possession of class A drugs with intent and was jailed for two years, suspended for two years, with a drug rehabilitation requirement and 20 days of rehabilitation activities by Judge Robert Linford at Exeter Crown Court.

He told him: "You became involved in facilitating the supply of class A drugs and people who get involved in that activity in the normal course of events must expect to go straight to prison.

"There are features in this case which combine to enable me to take an alternative course. You pleaded guilty and it is accepted you played a lesser role through pressure and intimidation by others."

Rachel Drake, prosecuting, said police raided the flat at 12.50pm on February 11 last year and found Ackland in his boxer shorts in the kitchen with a syringe on the floor and blood running down his leg from where he had just injected himself.

He told police to look in a cupboard under the wash basin in the bathroom where they found a total of 67 wraps of heroin and 225 of cocaine with a combined street value of £5,760.

There was one message on his phone asking to be supplied W, thought to refer to white and to relate to cocaine.

Some of the bags of drugs were double sealed and colour coded to show what was inside.

Richard Crabb, defending, said Ackland was pressured into dealing by a London dealer who invited himself to stay at the flat and got him to run errands.

The dealer returned to London for a few days and left the unsold drugs hidden in the flat, where they were found during the police raid.

A report from the drug service Together had identified Ackland as a good prospect for rehabilitation.