Barnoldswick drug dealer jailed after high-speed chase

Burnley Crown Court.
Burnley Crown Court.
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A drug dealer who sped through Foulridge country roads while being followed by police has been jailed for three years and six months.

Neil Byas (26), of South Parade, Barnoldswick, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine with intent to supply, possession of amphetamines with intent to supply, aggravated vehicle taking incorporated with dangerous driving and other motoring offences.

He also pleaded guilty to theft of a personal digital assistant from Lancashire Constabulary, and admitted breaking a notification requirement of the Sexual Offences Act by not informing police about a new home address.

Burnley Crown Court heard how the defendant had caught police attention on April 5th at 12-30am while driving dangerously along Langroyd Road, Skipton Road, Causeway and Whitemoor Road.

Despite officers putting their vehicle’s illuminated blue lights on, Byas was said to have continued “driving erratically”, before then smashing through a hedge and ending up in a field. The defendant , who had been driving at an estimated 60mph in a 30mph zone, was arrested and his car was examined.

He immediately told the police that the Vauxhall Corsa belonged to his mother, and that he had no permission to take it. Later, his mother also told police that she had left her car keys in the kitchen. She reiterated that the defendant has no permission to drive the vehicle, and added that he didn’t even have a licence.

David Macro (prosecuting) said that a total of 68.8g of cocaine, valued at £2,800 street value, and 98 amphetamine tablets, valued at £980 street value, was found in the vehicle.

Following a search of his mother’s address, a Lancashire Constabulary personal digital assistant was found in a set of drawers in the living room. In interview, the defendant said he had found the device while walking his dog. He said he had meant to return it, but “forgot”.

And an inspection of Byas’ mobile phone showed that between February and April there had been at least 13 people contact the defendant for drugs.

Passing sentence, Mr Recorder Stephen Bedford told Byas: “You were aware of what would be found if you were stopped, and it seemed to me that your guilty conscience was driving you to behaviour that led to your arrest.”

Byas was given a concurrent three year jail term for his two drug offences, four months for dangerous driving, two months for failure to comply with the notification requirements of the sexual offenders’ register, and a six month concurrent sentence for the theft of personal digital assistant.

He was also banned from driving for 12 months, and must take an extended retest.