A DRUG dealer caught in the act by police in Orford went to great lengths to evade arrest.

Michael Lord scaled a garden fence in order to make off from officers during a pursuit, despite being hit in the face with incapacitant spray moments earlier.

The 36-year-old, of St Benedict’s Close in Orford, was detained after a greater police presence was deployed in the area and was found to be in possession of a large quantity of cannabis and cash.

Despite his defence portraying him as an ‘intelligent and courteous’ man before learning his fate at Liverpool Crown court, the dealer was told that only a prison sentence would suffice.

Prosecutor Tom Watson told the court how plain-clothed officers were on patrol on Hale Street at around 1.30pm on October 10. They were drawn to a black Volkswagen Golf which had been doing laps of the area.

The vehicle eventually parked up close to Noone’s News and was approached by the defendant, who was carrying a Nike man-bag.

He sat in the passenger seat and, believing that a drug exchange was taking place, the officers moved in while armed with their incapacitant sprays.

Lord was ordered to get out of the vehicle, but instead attempted to pull the door shut and shouted ‘drive, drive’ to the driver.

The car shunted forward, with the officer struggling to keep the door open, and it was at this point that police noticed what they believed to be drugs in the defendant’s lap.

The spray was deployed to the face of Lord, who exited the car and made off at pace with his bag towards Watkin Street.

With police in pursuit, he jumped a garden fence but was quickly arrested by officers. A search revealed he was carrying 47 snap bags of cannabis, with an estimated street value of £470, and roughly £300 in cash.

Warrington Guardian:

Liverpool Crown Court

Lord confirmed to police during an interview that he was selling the cannabis to settle his drugs debt, which he estimated to be between £5,000 and £6,000.

He had 10 previous convictions for 15 offences, many of which were for the possession and supply of drugs, and he was out of prison on licence at the time of the offence.

He initially indicated not guilty pleas at Warrington Magistrates’ Court on basis of duress, but then pleaded guilty at his first crown court appearances.

In defence of Lord, his barrister Adam Antoszkiw referred to a comment from the probation service which described the dad-of-one as being ‘polite and courteous’.

He also spoke of how his client was an ‘intelligent man’, with respectable GCSEs and a diploma in IT.

“While in prison, the defendant taught English to other inmates, and he has already enquired about an Open University course in social sciences on his release,” he commented.

“He has come to the realisation after living in Warrington for 12 years, and after being in and around drugs for some time, that it would be more prudent to move well away.”

Mr Antoszkiw spoke of how Lord was ‘not a man worth giving up on’, but this did little to sway judge Louise Brandon from imposing a jail sentence.

She said: “You clearly intended to involve yourself in the street dealing of cannabis, which can be a profitable enterprise, to pay off your debts.

“You need to move away after your release, and you have thought about turning your life around, but this offence is so serious that only a custodial sentence can be applied.”

Lord was sentenced to two years in prison and told he will appear before the court again in January for a proceeds of crime hearing, where the profits from his illegal activities could be confiscated.