A DRUGS courier who fled the country after police swooped during a £3.5 million cocaine handover has finally been jailed for eight years.

A court heard how three police vehicles moved in after 35 kilograms of the Class A drug had been transferred between a Mitsubishi Shogun and a Volkswagen Golf in the Moor Top Road area of Low Moor on the evening of October 5 last year.

Despite the poor driving conditions 22-year-old Adil Ditta sped off with the drugs in the Golf and Bradford Crown Court heard that his high-speed dangerous driving forced other road users to take evasive action that night.

Prosecutor Ben Campbell said during the pursuit Ditta went through a number of red lights, over pedestrian crossings at speed, and even went the wrong way around the Shelf roundabout.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Adil Ditta, 22, of Raven Street, Nelson, LancashireAdil Ditta, 22, of Raven Street, Nelson, Lancashire (Image: West Yorkshire Police)

Ditta reached speeds of 91mph in the Golf before officers lost sight of it.

The car was later found abandoned in Cross Lane, Shelf, and officers seized 70 half-kilo packages of cocaine from the vehicle.

Mr Campbell said a drugs expert had estimated that the drugs would have had a wholesale value between £837,000 and just over £1 million.

The potential street value was said to have been £3.5 million.

The court heard that Ditta, of Raven Street, Nelson, Lancashire, had hired the Golf and his fingerprints linked him to the abandoned vehicle.

But Mr Campbell said Ditta, who had no previous convictions, had flown out of the country to Pakistan two days after the incident and did not return to the UK until the beginning of January.

He was arrested from the address in Nelson on March 21 and officers seized £1000 in cash.

Ditta pleaded guilty today to charges of possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply and dangerous driving and he was sentenced via a video link to HMP Leeds.

Last December the driver of the Shogun, Dominic Lowe, 30, of West Royd Drive, Shipley, was also jailed for eight years for a similar drug offence.

Barrister Shufqat Khan, for Ditta, said his offending had been an isolated incident and his client had expressed remorse for the “sheer stupidity” of getting involved in something so serious.

He said Ditta came from a law-abiding family and his parents were absolutely mortified about what he had done.

Judge Jonathan Gibson said Ditta had been involved in transferring a very large quantity of cocaine and had then driven off at high speed.

He said he was sentencing Ditta on the basis that he was a courier and he took account of his lack of previous convictions.

Ditta was also banned from driving for five years and he must take an extended re-test after the disqualification period ends.