A TEENAGER who told police he had been selling illegal drugs “since the age of 11 or 12” took “pleasure” in wielding a machete on Snapchat, a court has heard.

Jack Shorter was 17 when he was arrested in Clacton in August 2022 when police became suspicious about him wearing a large coat on a hot summer’s day.

When police conducted a stop and search on Shorter, they found wraps of crack cocaine and heroin.

Meanwhile, one of Shorter’s associates was then heard by officers “rummaging in the bushes”.

When police then searched Shorter’s friend, they found a knife which had Shorter’s DNA on it.

Shorter’s phone was handed to investigators who found Snapchat photos of him brandishing a knife and “asserting threats of violence”.

Marketing messages to drug users were also found on the device.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Suspicious – police conducted a stop and search when they saw Shorter wearing a coat on a summer's daySuspicious – police conducted a stop and search when they saw Shorter wearing a coat on a summer's day (Image: Police)

The prosecution said Shorter later told police during a booking procedure he had been “selling drugs since the age of 11 or 12 – what else is there to do?”.

The defence argued Shorter said “when I was younger”.

Shorter, of Richard Burn Way, Sudbury, admitted two counts of possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply, and one count of possession of a machete.

Katherine Higgs, mitigating, said Shorter had engaged with probation but added the appointment “lasted a matter of minutes”.

She said: “The officer asked where he got his cannabis from.

“He didn’t want to answer that question and as a result of that she said, ‘right, well that’s the end of this appointment, we can leave that there’ – and the appointment didn’t go any further.”

She added: “He attended an ordinary school until he was in year eight, at which point he was expelled from school due to his behavioural concerns.

“He then attended a pupil referral unit in Colchester where he obtained GCSEs in English, PE, and maths.”

Addressing Shorter, who is now 19, Judge Mills said: “Drugs cause abject misery to the lives of all involved.

“It is apparent you played a significant role in that and you knew full well what you were doing.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Jailed – Jack Shorter was jailed by Judge Mills at Chelmsford Crown Court on FridayJailed – Jack Shorter was jailed by Judge Mills at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday (Image: Daniel Rees, Newsquest)

“You showed a complete disinterest in engaging with anyone as to the seriousness of your offending.

“These are serious offences involving drugs – they involved you having a knife and taking pleasure from the power that gave you.

“It is suggested to me you have turned a corner and you are able to move on from where you are.

“That does not accord in any way the impression given to the pre-sentence report writer."

Shorter was sentenced to 14 months in a young offender’s institution, and shouted “I love you mum, I love you dad!” as he was taken down.