A drug dealer who assaulted the officer trying to arrest him has been sentenced to six years imprisonment.

Lee Fitzgerald, 43, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession with intent to supply drugs, one count of money laundering and one of assault with intent to resist arrest.

He was sentenced at Reading Crown Court on Wednesday.

On March 13 Fitzgerald was in a car parked in Bailey Road, Maidenhead. A Thames Valley police officer approached the car believing he recognised Fitzgerald, who began to frantically rummage through the drivers' side door area. The officer saw drugs, cash and phones in the car.

Fitzgerald then crammed drugs packages into his mouth, containing white powder which turned out to be cocaine, before grabbing the officer round the neck.

He was taken to Maidenhead, where an ambulance took him to hospital as it was thought he had swallowed a quantity of drugs.

During the arrest officers recovered £77,000 in cash and a quantity of drugs which was later found to be cocaine.

Fitzgerald was treated and then arrested and charged the same day.

Designated case investigator Stephanie Howard, said: "This conviction is as a result of many hours of hard work by officers and police staff across the local area; from the courage of the arresting officers in the face of significant violence, followed by a thorough investigation which secured the successful prosecution.

"It sends a clear message to others, who might involve themselves in the unlawful supply of controlled substances that this activity will be dealt with robustly by the police and courts alike."