A drug dealer was caught after police followed a trail of cannabis bags he dropped in what was described in court as a ‘21st century adult version of Hansel and Gretel’.
Andrew Moores, of Thwaites Street, Oswaldtwistle, accidentally stumbled across police while walking through the Foxhill Bank area while carrying a black bag containing 76 £10 bag deals of cannabis.
Burnley Crown Court heard how the ‘startled’ 22-year-old ran off and when ‘suspicious’ police followed him they came across a trail of cannabis which had accidentally been dislodged from his bag.
When the trail came to an end they found Moores ‘hiding up a tree’.
Moores pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis with intent to supply and given an eight-month jail term, suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work.
Stephen Parker said police were in the wooded area in Oswaldtwistle carrying out investigations for a missing person when Moores ‘walked out right in front of them’ before fleeing.
He told the court that they decided to follow him and when Moores collided with a barrier it dislodged the £10 bags of cannabis in the large black bag.
Mr Parker said they were ‘deposited on the floor leaving the police an easy trail to follow him’.
He said: “They followed the trail of cannabis bags and found the defendant hiding up a tree.
“In terms of the facts, they could perhaps be described as a modern 21st century adult version of Hansel and Gretel.”
Mr Parker said when Moores was interviewed he said the drugs were for his own use, was a cannabis user and bought the ‘job lot’ for £650. However when police analysed his phone they found messages dating back to July 2013 and a list ‘of about 20 contacts or so showing he was actively involved in the supply of cannabis’. The court heard how there were messages from Moores relating to payment of debts and ‘various tick lists’. Daniel Prowse, defending, said Moores is ‘remorseful’, of previous good character, has stopped taking drugs completely since the offence and has made ‘excellent progress’.
Judge Andrew Woolman said it was ‘clear you were engaged in commercial dealing’ however there has been a ‘complete transformation’ since the offence and he is a ‘transformed character’.