A PROLIFIC criminal stole jewellery in a bid to pay off a "huge" drug debt after he was kidnapped by gun-toting dealers and flown to Spain, a court has heard.

New Milton man Andrew Donoghue alleged that he was forced to smuggle 13kg of cannabis through France after being taken from his home by gangsters who threatened him with guns.

The 33-year-old had been saddled with a debt after connecting the son of a former partner in crime with drug dealers through a cousin in Liverpool.

The son then "disappeared" with a "large amount of cocaine", leaving Donoghue with the debt, it was claimed.

Tom Evans, mitigating at Bournemouth Crown Court, said: "This defendant was in a situation where the son of a former partner in the criminal sense approached him asking if he knew if anyone could assist him in buying a large amount of cocaine.

"The defendant put this person in touch with a cousin in Liverpool, who then put the buyer in touch with drug dealers."

Mr Evans said the debt had been transferred to Donoghue, adding: "As a result the dealers arrived at his property armed with firearms.

"He was taken to Liverpool, put on a plane to Spain, put in a car that had 13kg of cannabis in it and told to drive it to England."

However, the defendant was apprehended in France and arrested, leaving his debt unpaid.

In desperation, Donoghue, of Davis Field in New Milton, turned to theft, smashing the counters at four Pandora jewellery shops - two in Basingstoke, one in Chichester and one in Gloucester - and stealing items from within.

He also raided Pets at Home in Wokingham.

The defendant has already been sentenced for these offences at Winchester Crown Court, where a judge handed him 12 months in prison suspended for 12 months.

However, he appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court on Friday, March 11, where he admitted breaching his suspended sentence by handling stolen goods on August 18 last year.

It was heard that a caravan in Bashley was raided by two men and an iPhone stolen.

The owner of the phone used app Find My iPhone and the gadget was tracked to Donoghue's address.

The defendant said the phone had been dropped round by a third party, and he had not committed the theft itself.

Donoghue also admitted burgling a boutique clothing shop in Sidmouth in October 2014, stealing more than £20,000-worth of clothes.

Judge Brian Forster QC sentenced the defendant to a total of two years in prison for the offences.

He said: "I hope you can make something of your life when you are released."`