A SENIOR police officer has confirmed the case of cocaine dealer which took more than four years to conclude in court will be reviewed after a judge described the delay as 'inexplicable'.

Forty-year-old Duncan Kelly was jailed for three years at Carlisle Crown Court last week.

Police had initially called at Kelly’s home on October 6, 2019, in connection with an unrelated matter which was not pursued.

A search was conducted and a significant quantity of cocaine was located inside a Jiffy bag.

This had a purity of 49 per cent and weighed in at 130g which, a police drug expert concluded, could potentially be worth up to £6,000 if sold to street users.

A mobile phone was analysed and contained dozens of chats related to cocaine supply by Kelly over many months.

Also located was a debtors’ list which indicated that hundreds of pounds was owed by drug users for one-ounce and quarter-ounce deals.

Kelly, of Beck Green, Egremont, initially denied involvement in cocaine dealing. But when brought to court earlier this year, he admitted possessing cocaine with intent to supply, and being concerned in supplying the class A controlled drug between March and October of 2019.

A prosecutor told the court he had sought to gain answers from Cumbria Police about what he said was an unacceptable delay.

Mitigating, defence lawyer Sean Harkin said Kelly had been selling to other drug users to fund his own use. “That delay, from the defendant’s point of view, has been purposeful,” said Mr Harkin.

“He has taken steps to address issues with drugs and alcohol addiction and is in full-time employment.”

Judge Michael Fanning, who described the delay as 'inexplicable', jailed Kelly for three years, concluding that he had 'clearly operated for profit'.

“People who engage in this sort of dealing in class A drugs, spreading misery and creating crime, deserve to go to prison,” said Judge Fanning.

In response to comments in court, Detective Inspector Martyn Park said this week: “Cumbria Constabulary takes all cases of drug supply very seriously and we know the impact this can have on our communities.

“We aim to work with our partners throughout the criminal justice process to keep them aware of time scales.

“We will review this case in the light of the judge’s comments.

"We always welcome feedback and comments from our partners in the criminal justice system.”