A TEENAGER was left holding more than £1,500 worth of drugs after police spotted him and another man in a car.

Luke Ricardo, who was aged 18 at the time, claimed he had been carrying the wraps of cocaine and heroin for another dealer after being put under pressure to repay his own drug debt.

At Bolton Crown Court Recorder Geoffrey Payne told him he had narrowly avoided going to prison immediately. The court heard Ricardo, now aged 20, has stayed out of trouble since his arrest in April last year.

Instead he was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years, and will be subject to a 9pm to 6am curfew for eight months.

Ricardo, of Newby Road, Bolton, had pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing drugs with intent to supply.

Andrew Mackintosh, prosecuting, told the court how police recognised the driver of an Audi in Glebe Street, Leigh, just before 1pm on April 9.

The driver and his passenger made off but, a short time later, the officers spotted Ricardo.

"They stopped him and asked him to show them his hands," said Mr Mackintosh.

"As he did so he dropped a plastic bag which contained two clear plastic bags containing individual wraps."

Altogether there were 113 wraps of heroin, worth £1,130 and 48 of cocaine, worth £480, plus £159 in cash.

When interviewed Ricardo, who has previous convictions for dangerous driving and conspiracy to steal vehicles, told police that he has taken drugs daily since the age of 14 and has a personality disorder.

Hugh Barton, defending, said Ricardo had suffered a "terrible" childhood where he was physically and mentally abused.

"It it really no wonder he went off the rails," said Mr Barton.

"He chose to gain some comfort from using recreational drugs and ran up a debt."

Mr Barton added that Ricardo is immature and had been accompanying an older dealer as he sold drugs.

"It was a passive but necessary role as he was going to get away with the drugs if police came to the car," said Mr Barton. "The main dealer has got away, literally, scot free — this defendant left holding, if not the baby, the drugs."

Sentencing Ricardo, who also has to participate in 15 days of rehabilitation activities, Recorder Geoffrey Payne told him: "If I see you again in this court I will send you to prison."