Cumbria

Eccles duo jailed for 'county lines' drugs deals

Billy Johnson (left) and Stephen Ayrey Image copyright Craig McGlasson
Image caption Billy Carl Johnson (left) and Stephen Ayrey admitted possessing heroin and crack cocaine with intent to supply

Two drug dealers who rammed a police car causing £15,000 of damage in a bid to evade arrest have been jailed.

Officers in Kirkland, near Penrith, had boxed in a stolen Renault Scenic when the vehicle repeatedly rammed a police car to escape.

The men in the car, Billy Carl Johnson, 27, and Stephen Ayrey, 26, both from Eccles, Salford, then ran away.

Carlisle Crown Court heard police used DNA to trace the two men and dogs to find drugs they had hidden in a wall.

The court heard the Scenic came to the attention of police just before noon on 7 December.

'County lines'

As PCs boxed the car in, driver Johnson revved the engine and repeatedly rammed the police vehicle in a bid to escape, and collided with another vehicle nearby before speeding off, almost hitting a passing cyclist.

After dangerous manoeuvres which prompted a member of the public to call 999, both men fled and discarded jackets, but were later linked to the Renault by DNA evidence.

After sniffer dogs were summoned, the jackets and almost £1,000 worth of heroin and crack cocaine was recovered, some of the latter having been hidden in a dry stone wall.

Both later admitted possessing both heroin and crack cocaine with intent to supply. Johnson also pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.

Judge James Adkin observed there was a feature of "county lines drug dealing" to the men's offending.

Johnson, of Reginald Street, was jailed for 45 months, and Ayrey, of The Gardens, for 40 months.

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