A SOUTHAMPTON man, said to have links to a drugs cartel in the city, has been jailed for three years.

David Caines, 48, was arrested outside his home after police found him carrying 50 wraps of heroin and 19 wraps of crack cocaine.

Prosecutor Jane Terry told Winchester Crown Court that ten mobile phones, five SIM cards, cling film, scales and a deals list connecting him to a drugs network were discovered in his flat.

Caines, of Golden Grove, Southampton, admitted possessing the drugs, worth about £1,500, with intent to supply on the basis it was done to fund his own habit.

In mitigation, Susan Ridge said Caines was originally able to do that through employment but then his use increased through a flatmate and he lost his job.

“I suggest he played a lesser role,” she submitted. “He would deliver drugs to a pre-arranged destination on behalf of another.

“He was at the bottom of the chain. He never got financial payment.”

Recognising the inevitability of a jail sentence, she added: “He has a lot to lose. He will lose his accommodation, which will make him more vulnerable when he comes out.

“He knows it won’t be easy for him when he is released.”

Passing sentence, Judge Jane Miller QC told Caines, who had served two jail terms including one for robbery, he had had the good sense to plead guilty.

“You know prison well and you don’t want to go there but you should have thought about that before supplying these class A drugs.”