Shropshire Star

‘He’s grown up a lot’: Drug-dealing dad who fled police spared jail after ex takes to witness stand

A drug-dealing father has been spared jail after his ex-partner told a judge he had “grown up a lot”.

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Ryan Lal, aged 25, ran away from police and threw a bag containing 10 wraps of cocaine over a hedge.

That was after officers followed him into Oswestry. He was picked up on ANPR cameras on the A5 near Nesscliffe in a Ford Fiesta which was understood to be used for drug dealing.

Philip Beardwell, prosecuting, told Shrewsbury Crown Court that police observed Lal driving up to 100mph. When officers stopped him, he told them he was visiting his girlfriend.

Officers asked what was in his bag. Lal told them "it's just a bag," before running off. Officers gave chase and saw Lal throw the bag over a hedge into a field near the Premier Inn at Maesbury Road industrial estate. Lal tripped over and was arrested.

The bag was found to contain 120g of cocaine split into 10 smaller packages. Lal also had a mobile phone with messages relating to cocaine and cannabis dealing, including saying he would not be “bashing” drugs for mates, referring to the process of tampering with the substance to dilute its effects. When Lal was arrested he gave a “no comment” interview.

Lal of Willenhall, Walsall, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply a drug of Class A and being concerned in supplying a drug of Class B.

Jas Mann, mitigating, called Lal's ex-girlfriend and the mother to his three-year-old son to the witness stand. She told Judge Anthony Lowe that Lal pays half of their son's nursery fees and looks after him three to four days a week. She said it would be difficult for her to go to work and pay childcare fees on her own if Lal was sent to prison.

"He has grown up a lot," she told Judge Lowe.

The judge told Lal he did not know whether he was still "a chancer who takes risks and thinks he can make a quick buck by being involved in drugs," but said he would give him another chance. He handed Lal a two-year jail sentence, suspended for two years.

"If you have changed, it's the right decision," Judge Lowe told Lal. "If you are tempted by criminality again, you might want to consider him [Lal's son], and what sort of father he deserves. When he asks 'what do you do for a living, dad?' and you say 'I'm a drug dealer, son,' is that the answer you want to give him?"

Judge Lowe also ordered Lal to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work and for the drugs and phoned that were seized to be destroyed.

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