A DEBT-laden cocaine courier caught red-handed on the M6 with a £125,000 criminal cargo potentially worth £125,000 in the boot of his vehicle told police: “You won’t need a dog to find it.”

David Bascombe, 56, was stopped by police as he travelled northbound on the motorway near Penrith on September 26.

Bascombe, the only occupant, learned the vehicle would be searched and was asked by police if there was anything inside that the officers should be aware of.

Carlisle Crown Court heard that he replied: “In the boot. You will see it when you open it. You won’t need a dog to find it.”

A 1kg block of white powder — found to be unadulterated import-strength 82 per cent purity — was located along with an additional quarter of a kilo of the drug in vacuum packing. A mobile phone and cash were also seized.

Bascombe, of Radway Road, Liverpool, admitted both being concerned in the supply of cocaine and possessing the class A drug with intent to supply.

In interview he admitted making previous similar road trips and on the day he was caught, the court heard, had been asked to source a vehicle for the journey.

He spoke of getting involved in the criminal courier role in a bid to pay off debt accrued during years of cocaine use.

During today’s sentencing hearing (Wednesday), Bascombe’s lawyer Tariq Khawam read a letter the defendant had written. “I would like to sincerely apologise for what I have done,” it stated.

“I have had time to reflect on my wrongdoing and the damage caused to my family, especially my youngest daughter.

"I have destroyed her life and hope she will one day forgive me.”

Mr Khawam added: “The defendant admitted matters in interview. The impact he describes (in the letter) in no way reflects on him, only solely on his daughter and other family members who are affected by his decisions and involvement in drugs.

“His mother died, he lost his business and divorced from his wife. He says he went into a spiral that ended up with him in significant debt.”

Jailing Bascombe for four years, Judge Nicholas Barker told him: “This was a significant amount of high grade cocaine that was being transferred from Liverpool to Dundee and therefore this was a significant operation.”