A ‘CLASSIC county lines drug runner’ disappeared after leaving the care system before surfacing as he leapt from a Kendal flat to flee police.

Officers in plain clothes were on duty in the Abbot Hall area of the town at lunchtime on May 29 of this year when they saw a man - Craig Jackson - leave his home twice and conduct drug deals.

Jackson was arrested and found in possession of class A drugs.

A knife, pick axe handle and two hammers were later seized from his address.

As police entered Jackson’s Highgate property, 18-year-old Taylor Thompson was seen to leap from a window. He was detained and found to have wraps of cocaine and heroin on him, along with almost £2,000 cash.

A phone in the flat rang out persistently and a message, apparently for the unemployed teen, was noted. Phone analysis revealed messages and images of drugs and money, indicating his role in drugs peddling.

Thompson admitted to being involved with the supply of heroin and crack cocaine and the possession of criminal property, and was sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court.

Recorder Andrew Nuttall considered background reports and heard Thompson twice ‘disappeared’, having been unable to secure a settled life after leaving the care system.

On one occasion, he was found in Dorset in possession of drugs before being arrested and released under investigation.

“The next time anybody knew of him, he was in Kendal jumping out of the window of a flat,” said Phil Barnes, defending.

Mr Barnes outlined the troubled childhood of Thompson, of Viaduct Street, Newton-le-Willows, and pointed to reports which highlighted his naivety and vulnerability.

“He had built up a drugs debt he couldn’t service and those to whom he owed the money employed him - to use the term loosely,” he said.

“He is, to put it in simple terms, a classic county lines runner.”

Reducing the teen’s sentence because of his tender age and lack of previous convictions, Recorder Nuttall sent him to a young offenders’ institution for two years.

Jackson, 48, was jailed for 39 months at the crown court in July.