Cannabis courier jailed for delivering £6,000 of drugs

Teesside Crown Court

Teesside Crown Court

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A drugs courier fled from police after a high speed car chase leaving more than £6,000 worth of cannabis scattered over a front garden.

Michael Hart has been jailed for eight months after he was caught transporting wholesale packaged deals of the class B drug in Hartlepool.

Michael Hart

Michael Hart

Teesside Crown Court heard how police gave chase of a Seat Ibiza car which Hart was a passenger in after it was spotted driving dangerously in the town’s West View area.

Prosecutor Harry Hadfield said the car reached speeds of 80mph in 30mph zones before coming to a stop in Applewood Close.

Mr Hadfield said: “The defendant emerged from the passenger side with a large black bin bag in his hand and attempted to jump over a fence.

“Having thrown the bin bag over a fence he fell through breaking it. The officer conducted an area search for him and he lost the defendant but found the black bag near to the damaged fence.

There were bags of cannabis strewn across the garden as were a set of digital scales

Prosecutor Harry Hadfield

“There were bags of cannabis strewn across the garden as were a set of digital scales.”

The bag was found to contain 18 packets of cannabis, 175 grams of lose cannabis, three sets of digital scales and brown craft bags.

Mr Hadfield added: “In total 665 grams worth £6,650.” He said the drugs had been packaged into bulk one ounce deals suggesting Hart was above the level of a street dealer within the chain of supply.

Hart, 32, of Oxford Road, Hartlepool, handed himself at Hartlepool Police Station five days later.

Mr Hadfield added: “He wouldn’t disclose where the drugs came from. He stated he planned to take them to another address to give to a person he wouldn’t name. He said this was because he owed money to drug dealers and it would clear his debt.”

Hart pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a controlled drug of class B with intent to supply it to another.

Rachel Landin, mitigating, said the offence on October 7 last year was a one off and Hart had since distanced himself from bad influences and cared for his mother and two children.

She said: “This offence is not something that would end up with him living a lavish lifestyle at all but rather the burden of a drug debt would be removed from him.

“He was operating a limited function under the direction of those clearly above him.”

But Judge Peter Armstrong said there were no grounds for avoiding immediate prison.

He said: “This wasn’t just street dealing, this was within the chain at wholesaling level.”