Leeds cannabis dealer sentenced after 'running through three gardens' to escape police

A man who was caught with more than 300 grams of cannabis before attempting to run away from police has been handed a suspended prison sentence

By Richard Beecham
Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 4:45 am

James Lyons, 29, of Torre Mount, Burmantofs, had pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply, after police found 320 grams of skunk cannabis in his flat, as well as digital scales and a "large quantity of cash".

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A sentencing hearing at Leeds Crown Court was told Lyons made an escape when he was visited by police at a flat in Rydal Drive in Morley, running through three gardens before eventually being injured and taken to hospital.

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The hearing took place at Leeds Crown Court. (Pic: James Hardisty)

Police say they then found the cannabis and cash in his flat after inspecting it, also finding mobile phones and "dealer cards", believed to have contact details for others involved in the operation.

Prosecuting, Robert Galley added: "He has already had 20 convictions for 38 offences, his most recent for dangerous driving.

"This is an offence where the defendant's harm is based on supply to others - this is a significant offence."

Mitigating for Lyons, Caroline Abraham said: "He is an industrious man - he is someone who has started to turn things around and now has contact with his six-year-old son.

"It is only through his own foolishness that he is involved in this matter.

"He pleaded guilty and there is evidence of genuine remorse with his early guilty plea.

"His record is something that aggravates his defence, and that is inescapable. There is a realistic chance of rehabilitation in his case."

The court also heard how Lyons had already been on remand for two months in the run up to the hearing.

Sentencing Lyons, Recorder Christopher Rose said: "You attempted to escape but you were apprehended.

"This flat was essentially used to deal drugs out of. It seems that there was little doubt that you were well aware of the significance of the operation.

"I have read your history - it is an unenviable one - but I take the point that you have had a succession of custodial sentences and have not had the interventionist sentence that gives you support and direction.

"Given the positive nature of the pre-sentence report, there is a realistic prospect of rehabilitation."

Judge Rose gave Lyons a prison sentence of 12 months suspended for 18 months. He also ruled Lyons participate in a rehabilitation programme for 25 days, as well as 200 hours of unpaid community work. A proceeds of crime order was also made for £7,515.67 to be paid.

Judge Rose then told Lyons: "I do hope you take this as an opportunity to continue to turn your life around, and that this is the last time you come to court."