A BOUNCY castle hire company owner has been jailed after he was caught with more than £30,000 of drugs.

Danny Lockley was handed three years behind bars at Liverpool Crown Court last week.

The court heard that police on patrol in the Hood Manor area of Warrington spotted a BMW being driven at speed by the 35-year-old shortly after 11.15pm on Wednesday, January 15.

He was stopped on Reaper Close, initially running away from the scene but being arrested after a short chase.

Lockley, of Willoughby Close, Warrington, claimed he had fled as he had drunk 'a few beers'.

But a search of his car found cocaine stashed in the footwell, centre console and in a toiletry bag under his seat.

A set of scales, snap bags and a 'dealer's list' were also discovered, and cannabis was found in a Louis Vuitton bag discarded near to where he was arrested.

The defendant's home and that of a friend were then searched, and more cannabis was found in both properties.

In total, around 145.7g of high purity cocaine worth up to £17,200 and cannabis with a street value of £15,105 was recovered by officers.

Lockley, the owner of bouncy castle hire business Castle King Inflatables, became involved in drug dealing after running up 'considerable' debts of around £20,000.

The dad – who appeared in court on Friday, February 14, via video link to HMP Liverpool – admitted possession of cocaine and cannabis with intent to supply during an earlier hearing.

He was previously convicted of possession of cannabis with intent to supply in 2001 and 2008.

Sentencing, judge Thomas Teague said: "It will come as no surprise to you that the court cannot avoid a prison sentence for offences as serious as this.

"It's a sad situation that the court sees from time to time, where someone with potential and a capacity for hard work gets into debt and takes what they sees as the easy way out.

"But the court sees all too often the misery drug trafficking causes.

"Since 2008 you clearly have been working very hard, you are a family man with a child of your own and step-children.

"For 10 years, you have been living a perfectly law-abiding life.

"This really is the shortest sentence that the court can justify."

Lockley now faces of Proceeds of Crime Acts hearing back at the same court later this year, where he could be ordered to pay back his ill-gotten gains.