Drugs courier chased through town

A DRUGS courier who was chased across Harrogate by police at up to twice the speed limit appeared before the town’s magistrates on Tuesday to face two charges.

Philip Michael Laing, 26, of Quarry Moor Lane, Ripon, pleaded guilty to possession of 2.82 grams of cannabis resin in Cheltenham Mount, Harrogate, on August 22 with intent to supply it to a person unknown but denied a charge of driving a Toyota Avensis dangerously on the same date.

Prosecutor Katie Varlow said both charges should be dealt with by a crown court judge. She said police had been alerted to the Toyota in Ripon Road and decided to pull it over. But it made off at a speed of 60mph, shot a red light, narrowly missed a parked car and drove through a residential area before stopping.

Laing had admitted he had drugs in the car which he had collected for someone else for payment. He had panicked when police became involved.

Defence solicitor Helen Howard disagreed with the prosecution’s contention that the dangerous driving allegation was such that it had to be dealt with by a higher court.

She said if convicted Laing was unlikely to get more than the six months in prison which magistrates could sentence him to.

Court chairman Andrea Seddon ruled the driving matter was serious enough to go before a judge and jury and added that magistrates felt both cases should remain together rather than be dealt with desperately.

Laing was bailed until December 5 when the case is expected to be sent to York Crown Court.