The "Big Guy" ringleader of a County Lines Liverpool drugs operation being run from Grimsby is on the run in Barcelona.

Joshua Hendry was yesterday jailed for 10 years in his absence after boarding a plane to the Spanish city just before his trial was due to start.

He had also tried to evade arrest when the home on Willingham Street he was using as a drug-dealing base was raided by police.

He fled onto a roof, where he remained for 90 minutes before eventually being arrested during the incident last May.

Credit: Humberside Police

But yesterday, as his second lieutenant in selling drugs in Grimsby was jailed for six years and 10 months and another dealer lower down the chain was locked up for four years and four months, the court heard Hendry's whereabouts were not known.

Grimsby Crown Court heard a warrant for his arrest had not been executed.

Wade Chambers, 23, of Liverpool, was convicted by a jury on 10 to two majority verdicts of conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine in Grimsby between May 1 and 19.

He admitted possessing both drugs with intent to supply in Grimsby on October 10.

He was jailed for six years and 10 months.

Credit: Humberside Police

Jake Pilling, 27, of St Helens, Merseyside, admitted conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine in Grimsby as well as being concerned in supplying both drugs in St Helens between February 7 and April 30 last year.

He was jailed for four years and four months.

Credit: Humberside Police

Hendry, 27, of Liverpool, was convicted in his absence of conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine in Grimsby.

The court was told he had boarded a plane to Barcelona on the Sunday before the scheduled trial.

Judge Paul Watson QC said:

This was a widespread and substantial drugs operation.

Judge Paul Watson

They had taken over the house of a drug addict in Willingham Street, Grimsby, and used it to supply drugs in an act known as 'cuckooing'.

Hendry was known to the addict as the "Big Guy" and he was the "senior partner" of the operation, with Chambers as his "second lieutenant" and Pilling as one of the dealers further down the chain.

The aim was to extend the supply of drugs from the Liverpool area and Hendry was bringing in drugs to the house two or three times a day.

Judge Watson said:

He was directing and organising the buying and selling of drugs on a commercial scale or, if not a commercial scale, close to it,"

Judge Paul Watson

Chambers had convictions for 24 previous offences, Hendry for nine and Pilling for one.

Andrew Bailey, mitigating, told the court Chambers played a significant role in the operation for 17 days but, when police raided the house, he had no drugs, money or phone on him.

Mr Bailey said:

He built up a debt and was doing this to pay that debt to Manchester drug dealers."

Andrew Bailey

Ian Howard, for Pilling, said that the dealer was a cocaine addict and came to Grimsby intending to leave drugs behind.

"It is never as simple as that," said Mr Howard.

Addiction tends to travel with you. He found himself inexorably with those who were similarly addicted."

Ian Howard

He played a limited role in dealing.

Humberside Police said the operation amounted to £7,000- a-day.