A man who admitted drugs offences says he fled the country to miss his sentencing as he did not want his dying mother's last memory to be of him being sent to prison.

Andrew Wallace, 35, who had previously pleaded guilty to class A drugs offences, was due to be sentenced in May alongside Ismail Thompson and Rory McAuley.

Thompson, then 30, and McAuley, then 32, were jailed for six years and four-and-a-half years respectively after they admitted their involvement in a class A drugs conspiracy.

But Wallace was not at the hearing and had a warrant issued for his arrest.

Norwich Crown Court heard that Wallace, had gone to the USA and was arrested in Madrid on his way back to the UK.

He had not wanted to be sentenced in May as "his mother was extremely ill".

The court heard the defendant's mother had been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour and died the day after Wallace's co-defendants were jailed.

Michael Clare, who represented Wallace in court, said: "He had a very frank discussion with me.

"He just couldn't face his mother's last memory of him being that he was sent to prison".

Stephen Spence, prosecuting, said Wallace had been seen by police outside an address in Station Lane, Hethersett on May 13 last year.

It was after Thompson had entered with a package and left with another "block" of white powder in his underpants found to be half a kilo of cocaine.

McAuley's address at George Fox Way, Norwich, was later searched and officers discovered 496g of cocaine.

When police searched Wallace's address cocaine was also found.

Officers also found an "established cannabis grow" with up to 30 plants at an address he was linked to in North Elmham.

Wallace, formerly of Fakenham Road, Great Witchingham, appeared at court on Tuesday (October 4) having admitted conspiring to supply cocaine.

He had also admitted producing cannabis, offering to supply cannabis and possession with intent to supply cannabis.

Wallace also admitted a bail act offence, namely absenting himself from court.

Mr Clare said Wallace had been on a "downward emotional spiral" made worse by his mother's terminal diagnosis.

He said the defendant, who had come to cocaine "late in life" had been "acting under direction" and "feeding his own habit".

Judge Anthony Bate jailed Wallace for a total of three years and nine months.