A DRUG dealer from Oswestry who bragged that he ‘smoked’ the police during a high-speed car chase has been jailed.

Jamie Wilkinson sent boasting texts to friends after driving across a grass verge and the wrong way down an A 30 sliproad to escape a police rolling roadblock on the A 30 near Exeter Airport.

Police abandoned the pursuit as being too dangerous after Wilkinson drove his Mercedes hire car through Cranbrook at speeds of up to 80 mph and went through numerous red lights.

He dumped the car in Ottery St Mary before he, his girlfriend and dog fled on foot and went back to her home in Sherborne, where he was tracked down four days later.

Police found £5,920 worth of cocaine at that address and six bullets or shotgun shells and a high-powered BB gun in the car, along with a set of his false teeth.

Wilkinson was recalled to Dartmoor Prison because he was on licence and was later found with a phone, 13 SIM cards, cannabis and steroids in his cell.

He went on the run after being released and was only arrested in August after police made a public appeal to find him.

Wilkinson, aged 29, of formerly of Ashlands Road, Weston Rhyn, Oswestry, but now of Dorset, admitted dangerous driving, possession of cocaine with intent to supply, and firearms offences and was jailed for four years, eight months by Judge David Evans at Exeter Crown Court.

He told him:”You sent messages referring to the police pursuit.

"This was a very serious example of dangerous driving.

"The harm you risked was very great indeed.”

Felicity Payne, prosecuting, said Wilkinson got a friend to hire the car but police became suspicious of his movements and tried to box him in on the A30.

He appeared to slow down but then shot off the wrong way down the sliproad at Clyst Honiton and went the wrong way around a roundabout before heading towards Cranbrook.

He increased speed to 80mph in a 40mph zone, drove on the wrong side of the road and through red lights, leading the police to break off the pursuit because it was too dangerous.

Wilkinson drove to Ottery St Mary where he left the Mercedes near Oak Close and threw the key away on open ground, where it was found by a child and handed to police.

He was arrested in a house in Salisbury Road, Sherborne, on October 5, with drugs and a phone which contained offers to supply them and a list of people who owed money.

Miss Paine said: “One message said he had been chased all day and he seemed to be boasting about that. He said he’d been in a police chase and was stuck in Ottery St Mary.

“A message said the police tried to pull but he smoked them down the motorway in a Mercedes. His web history showed he searched for news about a police chase near Exeter.”

Wilkinson was on licence after being released from a 45 month sentence for a robbery in Oswestry when he carried out the new offences.

Nick Lewin, defending, said there had been a long delay in bringing the case to court which had enabled Wilkinson to overcome a cocaine habit and change his lifestyle.

He now has the support of a new partner and plans to make a fresh start when he is released.