Drug dealer caught out with gun is jailed for nine years
A motorist found with a German-made revolver stashed underneath his car seat after running off from police in Wigan has been jailed for nine years.
Dale Doran, 24, fled after police said they wanted to speak with him at a service station in Woodhouse Lane in the early hours of March 25, Bolton Crown Court was told.
He ran off when challenged and left his Vauxhall Astra behind, the court heard.
Police arrested Doran at his grandparents’ home in Comet Road, Marsh Green, the following day, in what was described by investigators as "the remnants of a drug farm".
Further investigations, including an analysis of Doran’s mobile phone by forensic experts, provided them with evidence that he appeared to be involved in cocaine and cannabis dealing at the time.
When he was approached by police at the garage Doran was already on bail for a separate offence, carried out on February 9, when his vehicle collided with one of the force’s patrol cars in Pembroke Road and he drove off without stopping.
He was arrested just under a week later, on that occasion, and police found him with £1,500 in cash and small amounts of street drugs.
Prosecutors had originally alleged that Doran may have been preparing to hold up the nearby service station, when he was approached by police.
But before a trial of issue on the matter at Bolton before Judge Richard Gioserano, an assertion by defence counsel Charlotte Johnson, at a previous hearing, that he had the gun so he could go out ‘rabbiting’ with his grandfather was accepted by the prosecution.
He had even discussed the possibility with his grandfather before purchasing the weapon, the court was told.
The court also heard that he may have been carrying the gun for his own protection, given his role in the drugs trade.
Doran insisted he had stashed the gun, which was found wrapped up in a pair of gloves, underneath his car seat as his grandmother would not have approved of having the weapon in her house, where he was living at the time.
Forensic checks, carried out after his arrest, established that Doran’s DNA was on the gun.
However he claimed he had just forgotten about the weapon after leaving it in the car.
He admitted to possession of a firearm, in relation to the service station incident. He had been due to stand trial over the issue but changed his plea at the eleventh hour.
Doran had already entered guilty pleas to possession with intent to supply cocaine, conspiracy to supply cannabis, dangerous driving and two drugs possession charges.
Doran was given a five-year jail term on the firearms offence and four years consecutively on the drugs and driving matters, as well as being disqualified from getting behind the wheel for six-and-a-half years.
A Wigan West Police spokesman said: "If you have any information about drug dealers blighting your community then call police on 101 or alternatively Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."