A MANCHESTER drug dealer who crossed the Pennines to sell heroin and cocaine in York has been jailed.

Liam Grant Nemeneh “coerced” a York resident into aiding him in his illegal trade, York Crown Court heard.

Ayman Khokhar, prosecuting, said police spotted the 50-year-old Mancunian and his York driver in Haxby and tracked the pair as they drove to Union Terrace to meet drug users.

Then they arrested Nemeneh who had enough heroin and cocaine to fetch £680 in street deals and was on parole from a 21-month sentence for possessing psychoactive substances with intent to supply them at the time.

Nemeneh turned his back on Judge Simon Hickey and talked to his partner in the public gallery as he was being sentenced.

The defendant had claimed he was a police informer, in a bid to reduce his sentence.

But police had no record of him giving them information and the warrants and arrests he claimed the information had led to had never happened, said Mr Khokhar.

At an earlier hearing, Nemeneh had falsely claimed that the York driver had multiple previous convictions for drug dealing and was the main mover in the Union Terrace visit.

Earlier this year, when sentencing the driver - Stephen Jamie Ferguson, 43, of Disraeli Close, Huntington - the judge had said Nemeneh had “coerced” him and that the Mancunian had had the primary role.

He had given Ferguson a suspended prison sentence.

Jailing Nemeneh for 46 months, the judge told him: “In my judgement you were clearly trusted in whatever chain you were in to come across to York and deal in drugs on our streets.”

Nemeneh, of Ashtree Avenue, Droylsen, Manchester, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of cocaine and being concerned in the supply of heroin.

He has 94 previous convictions, including for possessing anabolic steroid with intent to supply them and supplying cannabis.

His barrister Sean Smith said Nemeneh’s arrest had been a “wake up call” for him.

He had had drug problems and health issues.

But since then, he had managed to get his own tenancy and had taken himself away from his “previous associates”.

He was making good progress with tackling his drug taking, said the barrister.

“He has never sold Class A drugs before” the day he was arrested in York, said Mr Smith.

Mr Khokhar said detectives were in an unmarked police car when they saw Ferguson driving fast in Haxby at 9.30pm on July 17, 2018 and followed him.

Nemeneh had 28 wraps of heroin and 40 wraps of cocaine on him and £95 in cash.

He claimed he had come to York “for the football” and was staying with someone called “Pete”. Police also found drug debt lists at Ferguson’s house.