Liam's Coke Joke

Sean Hoare & John Troup

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Liam Liam leaving in Limo

OASIS star Liam Gallagher was let off with a caution for possessing cocaine yesterday, then mockingly pretended to snort the drug.

Minders laughed as singer Liam, 24, raised his wrist to his nose as if to sniff up a "line" of coke as he left a police station.

But last night the star faced a furious barrage of criticism from anti-drugs campaigners, with one MP branding his sentence 'far too lenient.'

Crop-haired Liam thumbed his nose at the law as he was driven away from police in London's West End after escaping prosecution for having the Class A drug.

With his solicitor sitting beside him in the back of a limo, he arrogantly leaned forward and put his right hand to his nostrils.

When he arrived home in North London, onlookers said he was "swaggering and incredibly smug." One added.. "He looked like he'd got a right result."

Liam who once boasted of blowing £300 a day on coke had been quizzed for 2½ hours over drugs found when he was arrested on November 9. Bobbies who spotted him wandering in Oxford Street after an all-night binge thought he was a tramp.

But it was VIP treatment for him yesterday as he arrived for questioning at Marylebone Police Station with lawyer Anthony Burton.

His Mercedes with blacked-out windows was allowed to sweep right into the police station to drop him off - and even waited on a yellow line while he was interviewed.

Escaping with a caution means he will be able to go to America with brother Noel, 29. should they decide to tour there.

A conviction would have barred him from entering the U.S. That would have ruined the chances of the Manchester-born band - whose hits include Wonderwall and Roll With It - making it big over there.

Scotland Yard said it was "common practice" to caution first-time Offenders caught with small amounts of drugs for personal use.

But Tory MP Barry Legg, campaigning to have nightclubs shut down if anyone is caught dealing drugs, said... "Gallagher was let off far too lightly."

Fellow MP Sir Teddy Taylor raged: "When parents are getting alarmed about drugs, it seems incomprehensible that only a caution should be given."

Tory Lady Olga Maitland said: "I hope this young man does not think that he has got away with it. "He is a role model and I hope he has not gone away feeling smug, because that would look as though the possession of drugs was legitimate."

Former health minister Sir Gerard Vaughan accused police of "distorting" the law.

The MP for Reading said: "Here we have an illegal act and one or two policemen deciding what action they consider appropriate. It is not for them to adjudicate on it."

The decision was also slammed by the father of Leah Betts, who died after taking Ecstasy at her 18th birthday party in Essex. Ex-policeman Paul said: "Kids see people like Gallagher taking drugs and think it's OK."

Josephine Bouzis, whose 19-year-old son Andreas died after taking Ecstasy at a London. rave, said: "I am very disappointed."

Liam has bragged in the past that he is "mad for" cocaine and even Sprinkles it on his cornflakes.

He has claimed that he sniffed cans of gas and took up to 150 magic mushrooms.

In September Oasis nearly split up after the brothers' long-running quarrels erupted into a furious row in America.

Liam's arrest in Oxford Street followed a bust-up with girlfriend Patsy Kensit and a £5,000 wrecking spree at a London club.

Sun 8 Jan 1997

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