A judge lambasted efforts by the authorities to get to the bottom of an addict’s side-business selling cocaine.

Josef Gordon, 28, had been due to be sentenced at Swindon Crown Court this week for possession of the class A drug with intent to supply it last year.

But Judge Peter Crabtree slammed the brakes on Tuesday morning’s hearing – querying why the man had apparently not been charged in relation to dealing over several months rather than just one day in August 2019 - despite evidence suggesting he had been.

He told prosecutor Christopher Wing: “This case doesn’t give me any confidence whatsoever there’s been a full investigation of the extent of criminality in this case.

“Has anyone turned their mind to the charge that was appropriate? That causes me some concern."

He added that he was “uneasy” dealing with the case, giving the Crown Prosecution Service a two-week adjournment to get more details.

Judge Crabtree bailed Gordon, telling him: “I’m not prepared to deal with this today, because it’s not clear to me to what extent you were involved in supplying a class A drug. That’s a serious offence; you will well appreciate the starting point is custody.”

Gordon, of Bloomsbury Street, Cheltenham, who was represented by advocate Emma Handslip, will be sentenced on November 3.