A drug user caught with £20,000 worth of cannabis after a police chase has avoided jail.

Thomas Young, 34, was travelling in a Peugeot along Whalley Road in Accrington when police officers noticed a ‘strong smell of cannabis’ coming from the vehicle.

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Prosecutor Charlie Brown told Burnley Crown Court that the car sped off but later crashed through a fence ‘into an area inaccessible by cars’.

Young and a number of other people from the car fled the scene, however the defendant was caught after clambering over a fence and running through a garden, the court heard. Officers found a bag with 3.2kg of cannabis bush worth around £20,000.

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Young, of Union Road, Oswaldtwistle, pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis with intent to supply and was given a 10-month jail sentence, suspended for two years with 200 hours unpaid work and a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

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Defence barrister Richard Prew said the drugs had been placed in the car by his dealer and he was aware of a deal taking place but would not have been involved. Mr Prew said he had now been drug-free for six months.