A debt-laden grandad caught with a "drug-dealing pass-the-parcel" while driving in north Cumbria has been jailed for more than three years.
Police stopped Paul Roe's Ford Mondeo on a slip road at Southwaite services, off the M6 northbound between Carlisle and Penrith, on the afternoon of January 27 last year.
A search of the boot revealed a carrier bag containing a "rugby-ball sized" stash of ecstasy tablets, skunk cannabis and high purity cocaine - potentially worth almost £8,000 on the street - concealed within several layers of packaging.
Prosecutor Rachel Faux told Carlisle Crown Court it was "essentially a drug-dealing pass-the-parcel". Roe, 56, who had been heading to the city, was said to have made the journey as a criminal courier to offset arrears accrued through his own drug use after relapsing into substance misuse following a family bereavement.
He admitted possessing class A cocaine and ecstasy, and class B cannabis, all with intent to supply, and was sentenced this morning.
The court heard remorseful Roe, of Wintermans Road, Manchester, took "full responsibility for his actions". He has since kicked his drug habit and had the full support of his children, grandchildren and partner of over 40 years.
"It is perhaps a story which shows the affect drugs have on society," said Recorder Tom Gilbart as he jailed Roe for 38 months, "and the reason why these offences are viewed so seriously."