A DRUG dealer who was caught with nearly £1million of class A drugs while driving along an Oxfordshire road has been jailed.

John Brayley, of Hollington Way, Shirley, Solihull, was set to stand trial for the single count of possession with intent to supply class A drugs.

In a last minute change of heart the 36-year old pleaded guilty for his part as a 'courier' in the failed bid to transport the sizeable haul of some 9,925g of cocaine.

Oxford Crown Court heard at his sentencing yesterday that acting on intelligence Thames Valley Police road policing officers stopped a red Mini 61-plate which was travelling northbound on the M40.

Matthew Walsh, prosecuting, said that police stopped the vehicle between junction 10 and 11 of the motorway and near to the turn off towards Banbury at about 4.30am on September 5 last year.

When police stopped Brayley, he told the court, they found a carrier bag stored at the front of the passenger seat which contained nine separate compressed bags, each filled with cocaine which on examination was found to be at 70 per cent purity.

Further investigation by police showed that the haul of drugs carried a wholesale value of £350,000 and would net a street value of some £993,000 when sold separately.

Brayley, the court heard, had been paid just £500 for his role in carrying the drugs and the car used in the ill-fated journey did not even belong to him and had in fact been borrowed from his mother.

He was also told by those who employed him that he was ferrying tobacco and not class A drugs.

In mitigation, John Carmichael said that his client 'was shocked' when he learned of the total amount of drugs he was carrying and that he 'deeply regretted' what he had done.

He said: "His role is very much as a minion in a case like this. There is no suggestion that he is a regular courier."

Sentencing, Judge Roger Chapple said: "This was a substantial quantity of cocaine. It was nearly 10 kg with a wholesale value of £350,000 and a street value not far short of £1 million.

"You were a courier and moving this consignment of drugs from A to B for reward. You contend that while you were told it was tobacco you must have known it was for drugs."

Brayley was jailed for six years and four months and must pay a victim surcharge.

The stash of drugs was also made forfeit and will be destroyed.