A child was accidentally given a kilo of cocaine after two former marines imported the drug into the country in Lego boxes, a court has heard.

Jack Jones, 28, and his former Royal Marines colleague, Isaac Rasmussen, 28 were sentenced to 16-and-a-half years and 10 years respectively at Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday.

Paul Jones, 43, was also jailed for seven-and-a-half years after the court heard his addresses were used as the destination for the drugs smuggled into the country from Holland in DPD parcels.

Eighteen kilograms of cocaine, with a street value of £1.8 million, was recovered by police, with one of the packages delivered to Paul Jones’ address while police were executing a warrant last year.

Police found eight Lego Duplo boxes inside, each with a kilogram of high-purity cocaine inside.

The court heard that the same day a package was delivered to an address in Whiston where Rasmussen was a tenant, but this was taken in by a neighbour.

Some weeks later, the neighbour gave one of the Lego boxes to her son’s girlfriend, who needed a present for her friend’s son’s birthday.

The box, which had an image of a fire engine on the front, was gift-wrapped and given to the child, whose mother opened it, the court heard.

The box contained a solid white block of cocaine.

Judge Stuart Driver QC told Rasmussen: "You allowed your home to be used for delivery of multi kilo packages of Class A drugs.

"Part of such a delivery to your address, disguised as Lego, was inadvertently handed to a small child wrapped up as a birthday present, exposing the child to a risk of serious harm."

The court heard the criminals used encrypted messaging service Encrochat, which was infiltrated by police last year.

In one message, Jack Jones told a contact: "Bro we be multimillionaires in three months ha ha ha."

Kenneth Heckle, defending Paul Jones, who is currently serving a prison sentence for cannabis production, said his "entry into the criminal world" started after he lost his job as a forklift truck driver in 2018 when he injured his ankle.