A DIMwitted criminal went from drug deal to the dock within 16 hours after officers caught him in the act.

53-year-old John Blackford has been revealed as one of the most hapless criminals in south Essex.

Patrolling officers first caught him dealing in the front seat of a Ford Focus on Monday at 8.15pm.

Police stopped Blackford, of Lombardy Close, Pitsea.

While questioning him his phone rang repeatedly with more people requesting drugs and he was found with cash, cannabis and a grinder.

Officers then took him to his home where they found 26 wraps of crack cocaine and heroin, cash, knives and a list of customers.

They also found drug dealing paraphernalia including empty wraps, digital scales with traces of crack cocaine on and a drug dealing list with the names of customers and the amount they owe.

He was arrested, charged and appeared at Basildon Magistrates’ Court the next day at 12.15pm.

He admitted two counts of possession with intent to supply a Class A drug and possession of cannabis.

He was remanded in custody and will next appear at Basildon Crown Court on July 2 to be sentenced.

PC Adam Blackwell, of the specialist drug squad known as the South Operation Raptor team said: “This really was a case of swift justice.

“Within hours of stopping Blackford, he was charged and remanded and will be sentenced next month.

“Operation Raptor will leave no stone unturned in our hunt for those intent on dealing drugs on the streets of our county.”

Essex Police set up Operation Raptor teams in the north, south and west of the county to tackle drug and gang-related crime.

Blackford was not charged with possession of the knives as they were in his home.

The more than £1,000 in cash he had will be confiscated as will the drugs and all the equipment.

Blackford could be facing a long custodial sentence after a short arrest and charge.