A DRUG dealer who dodged prison to help save his brother's life has been given a further stay of execution.

David Sparrow was shown mercy in March when a court heard he was to donate a kidney to Chris McCabe.

The swap was said to have been weeks away and Sparrow was given four months to recover from the operation.

The 33-year-old was told by Judge Peter Fox, QC, to prepare himself for what he called an inevitable jail term.

At court this week, it emerged that the life-saving operation has not gone ahead – because Sparrow was overweight.

His barrister, Duncan McReddie, said he has now shed four-and-a-half stone and doctors will now sanction surgery.

Sparrow, of Doncaster Crescent, Stockton, is due for a hospital scan tomorrow (THURS) to determine the size of his kidney.

Judge Tony Briggs adjourned the case until the New Year, and told him: “The warning you received still applies.”

Mr McReddie told Judge Briggs: “It would be wrong to penalise Mr Sparrow's brother as well as Mr Sparrow.

“The question of him being a suitable donor is settled. He is an ideal match. He has an appointment for further scans.

“It was thought the transplant was imminent but then the doctors decided that Mr Sparrow needed to lose weight.

“He has lost the requisite weight, but he has not, as yet, been given a date for the operation.”

Sparrow – now a twice-convicted drug dealer – was caught with £2,000 worth of amphetamine in May last year.

His arrest came only months after he was freed from an 18-month jail sentence for dealing amphetamine and cocaine.

At the hearing in March, Mr McReddie asked for an adjournment for “an act of significant humanitarian generosity”.

Judge Fox – now retired – told unemployed Sparrow: “For your brother’s sake and not for you, I am prepared to adjourn.

“You will face an inevitable prison sentence for this re-offending for exactly the same as you got 18 months for last time.”

Following his reprieve, Sparrow told The Northern Echo that he was glad he could be given the chance to save his brother’s life.

He said: “I’ve got no qualms about going to prison. I’ve done wrong, I know that, but I only wanted a little time to go through with this and then I’ll go to jail.”

Mr McCabe, 24, became seriously ill with kidney failure in November last year, after Sparrow had been arrested.

Father-of-two Sparrow was caught with 193g of amphetamine worth about £2,000 when police raided his home on May 11 last year.