A COURIER of class A drugs caught red-handed after being stopped by police at a service station on the M6 has been jailed for almost six years.

‪Ricky Kieran Hughes, 37, came to the attention of officers at around 4am on December 6 when he twice pulled off the M6 in south Cumbria, travelling around roundabouts before rejoining the opposite motorway carriageways.

Hughes’s Nissan hire car was followed to Tebay services northbound, where 600 crack cocaine and heroin wraps - potentially worth thousands of pounds - were found within a paint pot in the boot. He initially gave bogus identity details to police.

“He was acting as a courier,” said his barrister Matthew Buckland, “working off a debt.”

‪Hughes, of Boatmans Walk, Ashton-under-Lyne, admitted possessing both crack cocaine and heroin with intent to supply, possessing cannabis also found in the vehicle along with a grinder, and obstructing a PC.

Carlisle Crown Court heard he was jailed both as a teenager for supplying class A drugs, and then again, for four years, in 2013.

‪Jailing him for 2,045 days - or just under five years and eight months - Judge Nicholas Barker said he had committed a “serious offence”, adding: “There is a significant problem with the movement of drugs up the M6 from Liverpool.”