A van driver is behind bars for eight years after a pheasant in the road led to the discovery of his £1.7m amphetamine stash.
Brendan Kinlan, 42, swerved to avoid a pheasant on the M1 near East Ardsley but ended up crashing last October and revealing his illicit cargo.
Leeds Crown Court heard how Kinlan’s van was taken a recovery yard in Ossett where he badgered staff for the return of his “property”.
Prosecutor Jason Pitter said: “It was that persistence over the course of the October 24 and 25 that generated the staff at the garage looking in the rear of the van.
“What was discovered in the back of the van was not household items but boxes of shrink-wrapped packages that contained a white or cream substance.
“The van and its contents were therefore seized by the police. The van was found to contain 181 packages, all containing amphetamine, with a total weight of 174kg.
“That would be a highly prized commodity as it would have a value of sale on the street of £1.7m.”
Kinlan, formerly of Middlesborough, denied possession of controlled drugs with intent to supply but was found guilty after a three-day trial.
After the case, Det Chief Insp Warren Stevenson of West Yorkshire Police’s Crime Division said: “Kinlan was caught in unusual circumstances after being involved in his collision whilst travelling through West Yorkshire.
“While he may have been caught under fortunate circumstances for us, there is nothing fortunate about the sentence he has received and we are glad to see him behind bars for this serious offence.”