A DEBT-ridden addict with a £30-a-day cannabis habit took to selling drugs after racking up large bills with his dealer.

Preston Crown Court heard how Caleb Taylor was ‘pressured’ into selling heroin and crack cocaine after threats were made to him and his family over his mounting debts.

The 22-year-old, who was caught dealing twice within days, also faced charges of dangerous driving.

Speaking about the first occasion, prosecutor, Paul Cummings said: “It was around 10.20am when police were on patrol in the Pump Street area of Blackburn – they saw a vehicle and the occupants acting suspiciously, so they decided to investigate further and approached the vehicle. which then moved away.

“They stopped the car in which the defendant was the passenger.”

Mobile phones and cash were found inside the car, leading to the officers arresting Taylor.

Mr Cummings added: “The defendant was taken into custody where he was subject to a strip search. They had previously asked him if he carried any drugs and he said no, but they recovered 41 wraps of heroin and 51 wraps of crack cocaine from his underwear.”

The Blackburn man was released by police under investigation but was seen acting suspiciously by the same officers just six days later.

Mr Cummings told the court that Caleb Taylor panicked when he saw they police and ran off, throwing several items, including a mobile phone and wraps of drugs, to the ground.

Police later went to his grandmother’s address, where the defendant was living and found a tick list, mobile phones and plastic packaging.

The combined value of all the drugs found on Taylor had an estimated street value of £1,600.

At the time, Taylor was also on police bail following a dangerous driving incident earlier in the year, when he crashed the Volkswagen Golf he was driving following a police pursuit.

Defending, Neil Howard said his client, who has no previous convictions had ‘always managed’ his habit until recently.

He said “The root cause of the various difficulties and these offences is his addiction to cannabis.

“He has been using the drug since he was 15 and has always been able to manage his addiction and live within his means. However, that changed this year and his addiction increased to £20 - £30 a day.

“He quickly came into debt with a local drug dealer and that debt was passed on to other men and pressure was exerted on him to sell drugs.

“Threats were also made to him and his family.”

Taylor pleaded guilty to possessing heroin and crack cocaine with intent to supply, dangerous driving and having no insurance. He was sentenced to three years and three months in prison by Judge Andrew Woolman.