THE stepfather of murdered five-year-old Dillon Hull has appeared in court pleading guilty to drugs offences.

At Bolton Crown Court, John Casey, who was previously known as John Bates, admitted possessing 2,000 diazepam tablets with intent to supply and possession of Class C drugs buprenorphine and phenazepam.

He also admitted handling five Yale locks stolen from a Homebase store.

Casey, aged 45, of Cromford Close, Halliwell, was caught committing the offences on May 1 last year and will be sentenced on January 20.

The court was told the convicted drug dealer is also currently serving a 12-month prison sentence imposed at Preston Crown Court on October 23 last year for driving while banned and going equipped to steal.

Casey was the target of gangland hitman, Paul Seddon, who shot at him as he walked along Bankfield Street, Deane, with stepson Dillon in 1997.

The boy was struck in the head and killed. Casey had become an assassination target after falling out with drugs boss Billy Webb, who was murdered himself 13 years ago in Wigan.

In 1998 Seddon was jailed for a minimum of 25 years for Dillon’s murder and the attempted murder of the boy’s stepfather.