A DRUG dealer who stole his mum’s disability car to sell cannabis narrowly avoided jail – after a judge heard she needs him to care for her.
Mark Price was recognised by police officers on patrol as he drove the black Ford Escort along Long Lane in Fazakerley at around 1.15pm on November 10 last year.
They followed him three miles to Bulford Road in Walton , where he was arrested on the spot after eight packages of cannabis were found in the drivers’ door.
Liverpool Crown Court heard a further 44 packs of cannabis were found in his bedroom.
Price, 31 – who does not have a driving licence – admitted to officers that he was dealing drugs and had taken the car.
His mother, Joan Price, later told police that her son was “volatile and aggressive” and said she felt intimidated by him.
Mandy Nepal, prosecuting, said: “The defendant said he was driving his mother’s car and didn’t have permission to drive it.
“His mother was also spoken to. She said she hadn’t given him permission to drive the vehicle and said it was a motability car to help her get around and she relied on the car.
“She said it had been taken by her son while she was sleeping.
“She described the defendant as volatile and aggressive and she felt intimidated by him.”
In total 110g of cannabis was found with an estimated street value of between £1,104 and £1,651.
Price, of Durban Road in Old Swan , admitted charges of possessing a Class B drug with intent to supply, taking a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent, using a motor vehicle without insurance and driving without a licence.
He has a string of previous convictions for possessing and supplying drugs.
The court was told he is a bricklayer but has been unemployed for 18 months.
Neil Fitzpatrick, defending, said: “The defendant was very candid immediately on being stopped by the police.
“He made full and frank admissions at the roadside to being a drug dealer.
“He also made admissions about having taken his mother’s car without her permission.
“He accepts that at the time of the offence he had a drug habit. He was using £20-30 of cannabis a day. In order to fund that he was selling cannabis.
“He was on benefits and was struggling to support his young family.
“He is back at his mother’s address with her and his 21-year-old sister, who works full time in a solicitors.
“As a result of his arrest, for a short period of time his former partner and mother disowned him. He was left to build bridges with them.”
Mr Fitzpatrick said Price was now a registered carer for his mother, who has arthritis and fibromyalgia, and he receives carers’ allowance and income support.
The court heard he helps her with day to day tasks including shopping, cleaning and cooking.
Mr Fitzpatrick added: “He is remorseful for his actions and more so towards his family. He feels he has let them down.
“He has not taken cannabis for 14 weeks.”
Judge David Aubrey QC said he considered sending Price straight to prison – but had “only just” decided to spare him an immediate jail sentence because of his family commitments.
He sentenced him to 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, and a three-month curfew from 9pm-6am.
The judge warned Price he would be sent straight to prison if he commits any further offences.
He said: “What sort of son is it that takes his mother’s motability vehicle, leaving her isolated? What sort of son can be volatile and aggressive within the family home?
“I can answer both of those questions – it’s you. It doesn’t suggest you are much of a carer for her.
“It may well be that your mother would like a break from you – she certainly wanted a break from you after you had been arrested.”