A DRUG supplier who concocted a "nonsensical" explanation for a dealer's list found by police was last night starting a four-and-a-half-year prison sentence.

Craig Walker claimed the tell-tale piece of paper containing names and amounts of money was from a card school he ran when he was last behind bars eight years ago.

The 36-year-old - whose record was described as "appalling" by a judge yesterday - was found guilty by a jury after a trial of possessing cocaine with intent to supply.

Recorder Graham Cook told the unemployed scaffolder that the evidence was "clear", and was supported by text messages which were found on his mobile telephone.

The judge said: "The nonsensical part of your case was that you tried to persuade the jury that it was from playing cards during your last custodial sentence some years ago.

"I find it incredulous to actually suggest it . . . it is complete and utter nonsense . . . it was quite clearly a drug list and shows you were supplying drugs."

Walker tried to swallow two packages of the Class A powder when he was being booked into the custody suite at Middlesbrough police station on May 29 last year.

Teesside Crown Court heard that he had been taken there after police stopped his car as he returned to town from a trip to North Yorkshire to buy £100 worth of cannabis.

As he was being booked in, a package fell from his trouser leg, and after trying to sweep it away with his feet, he grabbed it and tried to swallow it, the court heard.

During a later strip search, a second bag of cocaine, which Walker had hidden in his groin, was found, and again he tried to put it in his mouth to hide the evidence.

Mr Recorder Cook told him: "Your attempt to dispose of the evidence is an aggravating feature . . . your behaviour was disgusting to say the least."

James Heyworth, mitigating, said Walker, whose girlfriend is two months' pregnant, has been addicted to cocaine, cannabis, heroin and crack cocaine in the past.

He said the defendant had spells when he could stay off substances and hold down a job, and added: "This was something more of a recent return to Class A drug misuse."

The barrister added: "He has enough about him to realise the impact drugs have had on him and the wider impact in relation to his partner and their future together."

Walker, of Bransdale Road, Middlesbrough, was convicted of possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply, and admitted a charge of possessing Class B drugs.