A drug dealer caught with £38,000 worth of crack and heroin has avoided jail... and has been given a curfew instead.

Despite being found with 997 wraps of class A drugs as well as two blocks of heroin and one of crack cocaine, Tyrese Terry, 18, was handed a two-year suspended jail term and a curfew.

Basildon Council leader Andrew Baggott slammed the decision.

The Conservative councillor added: “It beggars belief that someone would think this is the right decision.

“What we’ve been talking about with the police is we can do our part, but there’s a process and that includes the courts taking a responsible approach.

“There’s no point us saying we want them off the streets and residents to feel safe then throwing resources at it if the courts don’t do their part.”

Basildon Crown Court heard how officers from Essex Police’s Op Raptor team executed a warrant in Woodcote Crescent, Pitsea, on July 13 last year.

Inside the property, Terry was arrested immediately and he was found with two mobile phones linking him to the supply of drugs. Two knives, drug dealing paraphernalia and a bag of cannabis were also found and Terry was released under investigation.

On February 20 this year officers stopped a car on Southernhay, Basildon, in which Terry was the passenger. Terry was searched and found to have a knife, £171 in cash, an iPhone, cannabis and a set of scales. Terry was arrested and taken to Basildon police station while officers carried out a search of his mother’s home in Elizabeth Way, Laindon.

Inside they found two safes containing £38,000 worth of heroin and crack cocaine.

The shocking total haul included 831 wraps of crack cocaine, 166 wraps of heroin, two blocks of heroin one weighing 228grammes and one weighing 120grammes, and a 48gramme block of crack cocaine.

Terry was charged with four counts of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs, two counts of possession of a class A drug with intent to supply, three counts of possessing a class B drug, and possessing a bladed article.

Terry admitted the offences when he appeared at Basildon Crown Court and was given a two-year jail suspended sentence and was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work. He was also made the subject of a curfew that restricts his movements between 7.30pm and 6am.

Sgt Ben Woollard said: “There is no doubt from the amount of drugs recovered that Terry was a key player in the Leon drug dealing line.

“He was found with a huge haul of drugs, which fortunately Operation Raptor were able to seize and prevent from being sold on the streets of our county.”

Terry was sentenced at Basildon Crown Court on May 16.