A WIRRAL drug dealer threw a pan of boiling water at a police officer who was chasing him through a house, a court heard.

Liverpool Crown Court heard how Mark Lloyd, 20, desperately tried to flush his 'graft phone' down a toilet as he struggled with plain clothed officers who had followed him to an address being used to store drugs and cash.

Derek Jones, prosecuting, described how officers were driving around Birkenhead at around 10.30am on August 27 last year when they spotted Lloyd on an electric bike.

They followed him to a house on Old Bidston Road where they saw him put on a balaclava before he entered the address.

When he came out of the house holding something, the officers approached and Lloyd, who was aged 19 at the time, fled back into the house pursued by the officers.

As they ran through the kitchen, Lloyd hurled a pan of boiling water on a stove at one of the officers before attempting to flush his phone down a downstairs toilet.

A "lengthy struggle" began with Lloyd punching the officer in the face before CS gas was used to restrain him and he was arrested with officers finding he was carrying £146 in cash. 

Mr Jones said the mobile phone was recovered from the toilet and after it was examined it was found to contain numerous messages indicating it was being used to deal and order drugs.

While running through the house, Mr Jones said Lloyd threw a bag, thought to contain drugs, at an elderly woman who was lying "bed-bound" in a room. 

When officers spoke to her she pointed them towards a DVD case in which they found £1,100 in cash. 

Inside the bag they found 28 wraps of crack cocaine in £10 deals and 11 bags of heroin in £10 deals.

In total officers found over £1,800 in cash in the house. 

"This was a classic cuckooing operation," added Mr Jones. 

Cuckooing is a practice where people take over a person’s home and use the property to deal drugs from. It takes the name from cuckoos who take over the nests of other birds.

Desmond Lennon, defending, said Lloyd, who he said had been diagnosed with ADHD, was "in debt for cannabis which led him into this behaviour."

Lloyd's parents, who were present in court, were "greatly worried and concerned about his behaviour" with Mr Lennon saying Lloyd had been addicted to cannabis since the age of 15.

"He (Lloyd) is merely a foot soldier and not an organiser," he added. 

Sentencing Lloyd, who pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply crack cocaine and heroin and assaulting am emergency worker, Judge David Aubrey KC, said: "Drugs cause misery, desperation and destitution. 

"You were a classic street dealer but you knew what sort of operation it was. Living in the property was an elderly, bedbound, frail old woman - she was being exploited as a result of this operation as you with others were using this address."

He sentenced Lloyd, of Fenderside Road, Prenton, to 27 months detention in a young offenders institution.