A DRUG dealer was caught after police spotted a tail light out on a van he was travelling in.

Marcus Oakley was caught red-handed with wraps of crack cocaine, cannabis, mobile phones and debtors' lists.

Bolton Crown Court heard how Oakley, a 32-year-old bricklayer, had turned to dealing to help pay off his own drug debt.

Jailing him for 30 months, Judge John Potter told Oakley: "People who do that go to prison immediately because selling Class A drugs un the streets causes dreadful harm to the community."

David Lees, prosecuting, told the court that, just after 12.30am on November 1, 2019, police were returning to their Scholey Street police station when they saw a Ford Transit van on Bury Road near the junction with Milnthorpe Road, Breightmet.

"They noticed that it had been driving a little bit fast and, in fact, it had a rear tail light not functioning," said Mr Lees.

The driver was arrested for drink driving and, after smelling cannabis, they examined the contents of the van.

Oakley admitted he had been smoking the drug but then officers found £340 hidden in his sock and on the front passenger seat, where he had been sitting, were 11 wraps of cocaine.

The court heard it was valued at £440 and there was a small amount of cannabis, worth £30, in a Tupperware container.

Police also recovered a debtor's list with 10 names on it and three mobile phones which contained messages from customers requesting drugs or credit.

Oakley, of Wellington Street, Farnworth, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply cocaine and possessing cannabis.

Judge Potter heard that, at the time he was caught, Oakley was already under investigation for another offence of possessing drugs.

Kevin Liston, defending, said Oakley, who suffered a serious head injury in crash when riding an off-road motorbike eight years ago, had been struggling following the break-up of a relationship and lack of contact with his three children when he began drug dealing.

"He dealt with those issues, as is all too often the case, by way of increased consumption of drink and drugs," said Mr Liston, who added that, as a result he lost his job and got into debt with his own dealers.

"He was offered the dubious opportunity to clear his debt by assisting them with their operation.

"He accepts it was the biggest mistake of his life and is ashamed that he has become involved."

Mr Liston stressed that, since his arrest, Oakley has turned his life around, given up drugs, found work and resumed contact with his children.