A BOLTON man has been jailed after a botched drug deal resulted in the death of a father-of-one from Farnworth.

Joss McCaughtrie suffered catastrophic injuries after he was flung from a car being driven at high speed by dealer Shaun Ward on March 2 this year.

Mr McCaughtrie had been trying to buy just £10 of heroin from Ward after he drove to St James Street on Farnworth to deliver the drugs alongside his girlfriend Shannon Kay.

But seconds later, Mr McCaughtrie, 26, was seen by eye witnesses clinging to the front window of a VW Golf being driven at speeds of over 50mph by Ward.

As Ward lost control of the vehicle on Tennyson Road, Mr McCaughtrie, who was described by one eye witness as being “like a plastic bag caught on the door”, was thrown into a wooden fence, suffering a fractured skull and fatal internal injuries. He died at the scene.

At Manchester Crown Court, Rob Hall, prosecuting, said Ward had “swerved from side to side” in an effort to shift Mr McCaughtrie, who clung on until moments before the car crashed at around 8.10am that morning.

Following the incident, Ward, 23, and Kay, 24, fled the scene, before surrendering to police and giving them a fabricated story about how Mr McCaughtrie, who had a seven-year-old son, had attempted to car jack them armed with a hammer.

Officers later found a machete, iron bar and a knife in the vehicle but did not find a hammer at the scene.

Ward, who acted as a runner for various Bolton drug dealers, was also found to have visited a friend’s house and changed his clothes before handing himself in.

He was not qualified to drive, had forged insurance documents and was found to be more than seven times over the drug drive limit for cocaine.

The court heard moving victim impact statements from Mr McCaughtrie’s family with his mother, Debbie, describing her son as “the life and soul of the party”.

“As parents we know he was no angel, but despite this he was a friendly, caring person with a heart of gold,” wrote his father, Damon.

Kay, of Chestnut Avenue, Crewe, pleaded guilty to assisting an offender after she admitted lying to police about what happened.

Nick Ross, defending, said her brother, 14-year-old Adam Kay, had drowned in the River Irwell in June this year.

“Her criminality was relatively limited and her involvement was borne out of poor judgement,” he added.

Sentencing Ward, who pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving in addition to possessing a machete, a metal bar and a knife, Judge Nicholas Dean QC, said: “Cases like this are always tragic and Joss’ death is no less tragic just because he was involved with drugs.

“Violence is a hazard those that buy drugs expose themselves to but his life was no less valuable.”

He handed Ward, of no fixed address, a prison sentence of seven years and two months with Kay receiving an 18 month sentence suspended for two years.