Frustrated residents helped police to net their drug dealing neighbour after tiring of drug addicts mistakenly knocking on their doors.
Stuart Day, 35, of Robin Street, Ribbleton, has been jailed for five years after admitting possessing class A, B and C drugs with intent to supply.
He was already on bail for drug offences when police raided the home he shared with his girlfriend and her children.
Preston Crown Court heard one neighbour had overheard Day bragging loudly he would “run out the back of his house and over the wall” if police turned up.
Another resident saw Day dump a tennis ball in his back garden as officers burst into his home – which was found to contain class A drugs.
Many locals had contacted police about an increase in anti social behaviour after Day moved into the street, with people knocking on their doors seeking their next hit.
Recorder Guy Mathieson said the courts had “bent over backwards” to help Day after previous offending and added: “There is a need to break the cycle for you.
“The difficulty for me is the offending you involved yourself with. You chose – because I suspect you thought it was far more profitable – to engage in class A drug dealing.
“Having lost your co-defendant, you set up business at your partner’s home.”
Prosecuting, Craig Macgregor said: “As a result of intelligence his home was raided on April 25. As police arrived a neighbour went to his back bedroom to see if he did escape over the back wall. He was seen to come out and put something on the floor.
“As a result of that officer went out and found a tennis ball split down the middle, which contained powder.”
Police also found £700 of heroin and 50g of paracetamol often used as a cutting agent.
Day was already being investigated over another drug dealing offence alongside an accomplice who was later jailed for three years.
Mr Macgregor added: “ On September 26, 2015, at about 11.25pm, PC Shires and PC Bamber were on mobile patrol in a marked vehicle driving along Ribbleton Lane.
“His co-defendant’s black Honda Civic was coming the other way and as it passed he and Mr Day, the passenger, appeared to both look away from the officers. That of course was suspicious.
“The car was pulled over and tried to go through a car wash but was blocked by the police car. Mr Day was searched and a small key was found in his outer jacket. The officer noticed a locked container in the boot of the car.”
The court heard diamorphine, cannabis, and six boxes of diazepam were found with digital scales, and £1,900 cash was found in a toothbrush holder in the glove box.
A mobile phone with an incriminating text was also found.
Defending, Stuart Mills said Day had returned to drugs after his mum’s death and added: “He had employment, he had a family, he was clean of drugs.
“Once he returned to drugs everything simply fell apart again – that’s his deepest regret.
“He has lost his home, his partner, his children and his liberty.”