A “MENACE” has been jailed after flouting lockdown rules by driving a car for a suspected drugs deal.

Michael Sharland was caught by police in London Road, Benfleet, on April 22, driving a car that did not belong to him.

When police pulled over the car and conducted a search, heroin, crack cocaine and cannabis were found inside.

It was later found that the 36-year-old had been driving had no insurance for the vehicle.

Judge Samantha Cohen, at Chelmsford Crown Court, issued stern words as she reprimanded Sharland for his crimes.

She said: “You are developing into a total menace in your local area.

“During your suspended sentence you were driving about in a car that wasn’t yours, that you were not entitled to drive, or have a licence for, especially not for carrying cocaine, heroin and cannabis.”

Judge Cohen added: “This was also at 10pm in the middle of a public health crisis.

“People were supposed to be staying in their own homes unless it is essential to leave.

“The police have got enough to be worried about than to be dealing with you.

“You have a number of previous offences and this aggravates the matter.

“It is so serious that only an immediate custodial sentence can be justified.”

When he was arrested by police he failed to provide a specimen for analysis, the court was told.

Sharland, of Campion Close, Romford, was later charged with possessing Class A and B drugs, taking a car without consent, driving whilst disqualified and driving without insurance.

He appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday via video link to be sentenced.

He was dressed in a grey prison issue jumper and spoke only to confirm his name and enter guilty pleas to all counts.

The court was told Sharland was remorseful for his actions.

Sharland was given eight months in jail and will be disqualified from driving for a further 12 months.

His licence will be endorsed with six penalty points for the crimes, Judge Samantha Cohen said.