A drug dealer, who evaded police capture for two years, was finally snared thanks to a neighbour who seriously injured him as he tried to escape through their garden.

Jay Tuppein, 29, was initially found with drugs during two separate raids at a home in Manchester Drive, Leigh, in January and August 2016.

In the first raid, £4,200 in cash was seized along with 40 grams of cannabis, and a Taser disguised as an iPhone.

Then in August, the same property was raided and he was found with 0.187 grams of cocaine, mobile phones with messages detailing drug dealing and £2,500 in cash.

Tuppein was due in court for the offences but failed to appear, and went off the radar for two years before a wider investigation by police this year linked his phone number with other drug dealings in the county, and another raid was conducted in Leigh where he was found.

At Basildon Crown Court yesterday, Rhys Rosser, prosecuting, said: “Tuppein was fleeing through gardens, when a member of the public, whose garden he was in, threw an object at him (not specified), causing serious injury to his leg.

“Police later found him behind a car and arrested him.”

Mr Rosser said that when in hospital being treated for his injuries, Tuppein subjected a police officer to a total of four hours of racial harassment, targeting his skin colour, hurling personal insults at him, and said he would drive around Basildon looking for him when he was out of hospital.

Mr Rosser added that it was “a mystery” that Tuppein had evaded the courts for so long.

Mitigating, Gareth Hughes said that Tuppein had fallen into drug dealing as he was a user too.

He added: “For the racial harassment, the defendant was in a hospital bed, he was in pain and said things he wouldn’t have said normally.

“Due to the warrant for his arrest he couldn’t find proper work or apply for benefits.”

Tuppein, of Octavia Road, Isleworth, appeared at court via video link where he was still using crutches due to his injury when trying to escape.

He admitted possession with intent to supply cannabis, possession of a disguised firearm, two counts of being concerned with supply of cocaine, racially aggravated harassment and failing to appear at court.

Judge Ian Graham sentenced Tuppein to six years in prison, saying jail time was “the only way” for him to pay for his crimes.