Gun and £45k of cannabis found in car on M55 between Preston and Blackpool

The car was pulled over on the M55
The car was pulled over on the M55

A haul of cannabis worth up to £45,000 was seized in the Wesham area after police pulled over a vehicle on the motorway.

The driver, a 27-year-old Lancashire mum, was arrested after 15 bin bags full of cannabis were recovered from the boot - along with a handgun, balaclavas and tools.

READ MORE: £70,000 of cocaine found in secret compartment of van on M55

Nicole McGrath, now 29, of Hobart Street, Burnley, told the authorities she became involved because she was £30,000 in debt and had been threatened.

Her male passenger, who ran away over an embankment, has never been caught.

Prosecuting, Jane Dagnall said the Peugeot had been stopped on the M55 at 4am on April 26 in 2017.

She added: “ The defendant got out straight away and police thought that was suspicious.

“There was a male passenger in the front seat and he was agitated. That made the police more suspicious.”

Officers discovered a haul of 3kg of cannabis - if split into individual street deals it could have fetched up to £45,000.

Her defence lawyer said in the two years since the offences McGrath had “got her life back together”.

Judge Andrew Jefferies QC said: “In 2017, when you’d have been 27, your life took a turn for the worse.

“You were clearly mixing with the wrong people, earning money the wrong ways and found yourself in the company of sophisticated criminals.

“It’s also quite clear you’re not the architect of any of this - that falls in the absent male’s domain.”

He imposed a two year community order and rehabilitation activity requirement after she admitted a drug offence.