A DRUGS courier who stole a police car and crashed it after a high speed motorway drive has been jailed for six and a half years.
Thomas Morris, 41, of Ashmuir Hay, Kirkby, Merseyside, was put in the back of the car at Charnock Richard services on the M6 in April after an officer stopped to speak to him about a broken wing mirror and noticed a smell of cannabis.
The officer left the engine running while requesting a drugs dog team to attend the scene and Morris jumped into the front and drove away at high speed.
Police found he had been transporting five kilos of diamorphine with a value of up to £200,000 in a fishing bag in the back of his Volkswagen Passat. The drugs, which were found in 10 compressed packages, had a purity of 38%.
Prosecuting, Harry Pepper said witnesses had told police they had seen him driving “aggressively and dangerously” at high speed.
He left the M6 at junction 29 at Bamber Bridge but lost control and collided with a traffic light, writing the Volvo estate off to the tune of £8,4000.
Morris, who wore a grey polo shirt, gave evidence in the dock in which he told the court he was transporting the drugs after being threatened by a drugs gang that claimed he owed them £77,000 which was seized by police in an earlier case he was jailed for transporting £77,000 drugs cash from Carlisle to Liverpool.
He had been approached by the gang several times and asked to work for them - with a knife being held to his throat during one incident.
He said: “ My mother is in her 70’s and is seriously ill and I was her carer but due to this she will be going in a home.”
The judge accepted he was working off a drug debt but dismissed he was being pressured.