A Mercedes-driving drug dealer who led police on a high speed chase through residential streets has walked free from court.
Adam Morrow had thousands of pounds of cannabis in his car when police tried to pull him over in Newcastle.
In panic, he put his foot down, reaching speeds of up to 70mph in a housing estate in a chase that became so dangerous, police had to pull out.
A court heard he then made a run for it and discarded a bag containing almost £3,000 of drugs and more than £1,000 cash.
Morrow, 28, of King Edward Street, Gateshead, pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis with intent to supply and dangerous driving and has been given a suspended prison sentence.
Newcastle Crown Court heard it was on June 16 last year that police came up behind his car on Stephenson Road, Heaton.
They indicated for him to stop using blue lights and sirens but he failed to do so and instead accelerated away.
He sped into residential streets and was doing 70mph on Newton Road and nearly collided with another car.
Morrow also ran three red lights before police pulled back on safety grounds.
The Mercedes was found abandoned shortly after that.
Philip Morley, prosecuting, said: "He was seen leaving the vehicle with a bag, which he discarded.
"Police stopped and detained him and he had £470 cash on him upon arrest."
With the help of police dogs, the bag was found and it contained a further £1,220.
There were also three packets of cannabis, weighing 57g, 139g and 506g, worth a total of at least £2,800, the court heard.
Examination of his mobile phone showed customers had been contacting him for drugs and he had been advertising them.
When he was arrested he said he had only been supplying to friends and denied he was a drug dealer and said he was not making money from it.
Morrow, who has a previous conviction for assault in 2010, was sentenced to nine months suspended for 12 months with 200 hours unpaid work and a 12 month driving ban.
Recorder Andrew Haslam QC told him: "That you panicked is no excuse for the terrible driving that followed."
Sign up to our free newsletter to receive the latest news from the courts in the North East.
It takes just seconds to sign up - just click on this link, enter your email address and follow the instructions.
If you change your mind you can unsubscribe using the link at the bottom of every newsletter we send out.
Rachel Hedworth, defending, said: "He is utterly ashamed and utterly remorseful. He has had these proceedings hanging over his head for almost a year and, frankly, has been terrified at the prospect of an immediate term of imprisonment.
"He is a young man who has fallen foul of misuse of cannabis over a number of years and he became more dependent as matters became more strained and pressured after losing his job in March last year."
Miss Hedworth said Morrow had previously earned up to £60,000 as a dry liner and got the Mercedes as a lease car while working.
She said he is now doing three jobs, voluntary work and looking after his mum and added: "He is truly ashamed and desperate to go back to living a responsible law-abiding lifestyle."