A YOUNG drug dealer from Ellesmere Port who evaded police after dumping his moped on a Chester cycle path was caught at Gatwick Airport five months later.

Kyle Trevor Carl Phillips, 23, of Shephard Drive, had initially denied the charge of possessing crack cocaine with intent to supply, but changed his plea to guilty before his scheduled trial date.

Appearing at Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday, June 2, Phillips was jailed for 40 months.

Prosecuting, Oliver King said it was on June 19, 2018, when 21-year-old Phillips was spotted by plain-clothed police officers in Chester riding a moped on the cycle path.

They attempted to stop him using their bicycles but he evaded them

A chase followed before Phillips fell off his scooter and dumped it. One of the officers chased Phillips but was unable to catch him, while the other officer stayed with the scooter.

The scooter was found to have two bags of crack cocaine, each weighing 28.35g, with a value of between £2,400 and £3,000. If cut into street deals, Mr King added, it would have a potential street value of £6,300.

Also found on the scooter was a mobile phone which a trained drugs officer said contained text messages consistent with drug-dealing, and that Phillips had been planning a drug deal that day.

There were also messages between Phillips and his girlfriend.

DNA on the scooter, drugs and phone all matched that of Phillips, and he was put on to a database for wanted suspects.

Five months later, Phillips was arrested after coming back in to the UK at Gatwick Airport.

In his original interview with police, he claimed he had been helping another man fix a puncture on the moped, which fell over and meant he picked up the items which had fallen off it.

But he indicated a change of plea to guilty in March this year, and formally pleaded guilty on his sentencing hearing.

He had two convictions for two offences and had not been to prison before.

Defending, Chris Hunt said Phillips had been "extremely immature" when committing the offences.

There had been a falling out between Phillips and his parents when growing up and he had been staying in hostels.

An apprenticeship as a plasterer began but an issue with his shoulder put paid to that, and Phillips started to suffer from depression, which led to him taking cocaine and building a cocaine debt which, he was told, he would have to sell drugs to get out of said debt.

Since the offence, he was no longer taking drugs and had not committed any further crimes.

He was now in a long-term relationship and a father of two.

He had also had to undergo three operations on his shoulder which had involved removing nerves from his leg to place into the shoulder.

Sentencing Phillips, Judge Simon Berkson said: "You are someone who has had health issues and have undergone significant operative treatment, three operations on your shoulder.

"You have hardly any relevant convictions.

"But the supply of crack cocaine is always a serious offence. Crack cocaine is such a terrible drug which affects the lives of so many.

"Sadly, only an immediate custodial sentence is appropriate in this case."