A TAUNTON drug dealer who was caught with cocaine, ketamine and more than a thousand pounds in cash when police searched his home after a fire has been jailed for 25 months and two days.

Jacob Hawkins, 26, of Mountfields Avenue, two charges of possession of drugs with intent to supply, a charge of possession of a controlled drug and a charge of assault by beating when he appeared at Taunton Crown Court on Thursday (February 21.)

Prosecuting Richard Posner told the court firefighters were called to a property in Pyrland Fields in Taunton belonging to Hawkins' girlfriend, Chelsea Jackson, on February 16 last year, following reports of a fire.

After firefighters made the area safe they went into the property to retrieve a mobile phone and cash in a kitchen cabinet belonging to Hawkins' after he asked for them to be retrieved.

As the firefighters searched for Hawkins' phone they became suspicious after they found 'wads of cash' and 'bags of rocks and white powder' scattered around Ms Jackson's property.

Firefighters attempted to stall Hawkins' until police arrived at the scene but Mr Posner said Hawkins' became agitated and wanted to enter the property.

Hawkins' and Jackson were both arrested when officers arrived at the scene.

During a search of the property officers found a plastic bag containing 29.43g of ketamine with a street value of £583, a bag containing 3.8g of cocaine worth £320, a bag containing some ecstasy tablets and more than 1,000 alprazolam tablets worth £800 as well as hundreds of pounds of cash in cabinets around the property.

Mr Posner said when police examined a phone belonging to Hawkins' they found messages which showed he used the phone to buy 1,000 alprazolam from another dealer as well as messages from people asking him if they could buy MDMA and ketamine.

The court heard while Hawkins' was on bail for the drug offences he met Jackson, who was eight months pregnant at the time, at St James Medical Centre in Taunton and assaulted her after they argued in front of patients.

Mr Posner said: "Witnesses said they heard arguing and Chelsea Jackson screaming and the defendant punched her a couple of times.

"Jackson was seen on the floor and the defendant pulled her across the floor by her hair and tried to remove her mobile phone."

Defending, Harry Ahuja, said Hawkins' has been using illegal substances since the age of 13 and has been using ketamine heavily for ten years which has led to him suffering with a number of health problems including extreme pain.

Mr Ahuja said Hawkins' has made efforts to turn his life around since the offences after he discovered Jackson was four months pregnant with his child.

Mr Ahuja said: "At 26 years old he wants to lead a law abiding life.

"He is looking for work and said he can get work as a painter and decorator in the next few weeks.

"He is no longer using ketamine and has been supporting Jackson through her pregnancy."

Judge David Ticehurst sentenced Hawkins' to 25 months and two days in jail.

He also sentenced Jackson to a 12 month community order for a charge of possession of a controlled drug.

When sentencing Hawkins', Judge Ticehurst, said: "You are a classic example of the dangerous and destructive effects drugs can have on people's lives.

"You are a drug dealer, you like making money by selling drugs to other people, make money from the destructive drugs you sell.