A Bradford judge has hit out at “potty” charging decisions that are sending out the wrong message to members of the public.

Judge Ahmed Nadim wanted to know why a man was being sentenced for simple possession of Spice when he had eight bags of the Class B drug in his trousers and the police had been alerted by CCTV operators to the fact that he was selling it on John Street in Bradford city centre.

Liam Baker, 34, who lived in Undercliffe, Bradford, until he was remanded to HMP Leeds, admitted possession of Spice and a Class C drug on January 23; and dangerous driving, driving without insurance or a licence, criminal damage to a police vehicle and possession of criminal property on July 2.

Judge Nadim asked why he had not been charged with supplying the Spice which had a street value of up to £100.

“Why don’t the charges reflect the evidence in this case?” he wanted to know.

He said he had been sitting as a judge at Bradford Crown Court for only two weeks and this was the fifth similar “bizarre” charging decision he had been presented with.

“It just sends the wrong message out to the public,” he said.

“They’ll think the criminal justice sentence has gone potty.”

Judge Nadim deferred sentence for six months after hearing that Baker had been in custody since his arrest in July and was now drug free.

Prosecutor Emma Downing said he had admitted all the offences.

As well as being in possession of the Spice, Baker had £15 worth of a Class C anticonvulsant drug in tablet form in a Kinder Surprise egg.

He was under police investigation when he committed the driving offences.

Miss Downing said he was spotted at the wheel of a stolen Renault Clio in Laisterdyke, Bradford, at 2pm on July 2.

He sped off on a ten-minute ‘blue light’ chase in which he ran red lights and went down residential streets at up to 70mph.

He was pursued along Lapage Street, Gilpin Street and New Otley Road before getting stuck in traffic on Dudley Hill Road and reversing into a police vehicle in his effort to es-cape.

He resisted attempts to arrest him and was tasered and handcuffed.

There was £336 in cash in the car, along with a diary and bank card not in his name.

Baker had 63 previous convictions for 115 offences, including burglary and possession of a bladed article.

His barrister Jessica Heggie said he was now a changed man and keen to help his moth-er and grandparents who lived out of the area.

His childhood was chaotic and he was seeking help for the trauma he had suffered.

Baker had battled mental health problems for many years and blamed Spice for ruining his life.

Judge Nadim said if Baker was sent immediately to jail he would come out “precisely the same man” who was remanded into custody.

He must comply fully with a community order he is subject to and remain drug free.

Judge Nadim warned him that otherwise he would be brought back to court and sent to jail.

“The key to the prison cell is in your hand. You decide whether you want to sort yourself out,” he said.

Baker is subject to an interim driving ban until he is sentenced on April 4.