A cocaine dealer who was found to have about £6,000 worth of the drug at his Wirral home was today jailed for three years four months.

Michael Holmes, who had the cocaine locked in a safe along with a toy gun, a craft knife and £460 cash, admitted to police that he had been supplying drugs for six months.

Judge Adrian Lyon told 38-year-old Holmes that he had been involved in substantial street dealing. "This is unacceptable behaviour which has to be marked with a custodial sentence."

Liverpool Crown Court heard that police armed with a search warrant raided his home in Bidston Road, Prenton, on June 20 last year.

Asked if he had any drugs he pointed to a small amount of cannabis.

The officers went into the basement and Holmes gave them the keys to the safe and admitted that inside they would find cocaine and a toy gun, said Geoffrey Greenwood, prosecuting.

As well as those items, the officers also found a drug dealer's tick list, electronic scales and a mobile phone. The two bags of cocaine had a street value of up to £6,500.

When interviewed he said that the cash was for his supplier.

He bought cocaine on credit and sold about £1,000 worth a week and the money was collected from him weekly. He said he had been selling commercially since Christmas 2007.

Gerald Pachter, defending, said that Holmes had become involved in the offending through his cousin. He was getting nothing out of it apart from paying off his drug debts and paying for his habit.