A man caught dealing drugs in an Accrington park who was rugby tackled to the ground by police is thought to have had an £11,000 stash.

Blackburn Magistrates' Court heard David Pye had been forced into street dealing to pay off a drug debt when he was caught by police.

Pye, 46, of Honeysuckle Court, Huncoat, pleaded guilty to possession of crack cocaine and heroin with intent to supply and possession of criminal property, namely £756 in cash.

He was sent in custody to Burnley Crown Court to be sentenced.

Bilal Saeed, prosecuting, said officers saw Pye in Bullough Park, Accrington, and he tried to evade them but was arrested and found to be in possession of numerous bags of heroin and crack cocaine and a quantity of cash.

Aftab Bakhat, in mitigation, said it was accepted the case would be sent to the crown court for sentence.

“He has only been out of custody for six weeks and he has been coerced and threatened into continuing to deal drugs to pay off a debt,” said Mr Bakhat.

“He was simply acting as directed.”

Police said on Wednesday members of the Hyndburn Taskforce Team had spotted a man acting suspiciously in the park.

He was chased and “eventually rugby tackled near the playground”, according to a Hyndburn Police spokesperson.

The spokesperson added: “The unlucky individual has been sighted by police and decided to try his luck attempting to outrun the officers.

“Unfortunately for him, he didn’t anticipate that the team was well fuelled on coffee.

“The Hyndburn neighbourhood policing team will not tolerate drug dealing, especially in our parks and we’ll continue to actively target those involved in crime.”

Pye was later questioned and charged with the drugs offence before being remanded for his court appearance.

Police estimated the drugs found in the man’s possession had a street value of around £11,000.