Drug-dealing college student spared jail

Burnley Crown Court.
Burnley Crown Court.

A college student who was a street drug dealer has been spared jail after a judge said he would give him a chance.

Burnley Crown Court was told how Aqib Mahmood (21) was found with a stash of drugs and cash to the tune of more than £300 when police stopped him in a car in March. Messages from his mobile phone revealed a “tick list”.

The defendant, of Every Street, Nelson, had admitted possessing cannabis and tomazepam with intent to supply.

He was given 12 months in jail, suspended for 18 months, with 120 hours unpaid work and a three month curfew, between 9pm and 6am. He had no previous convictions.

The court was told Mahmood was stopped on March 11th. He was found to be in possession of 13 grams of cannabis and 52 tomazepam tablets, worth about £200 in total.

He also had £321 in cash and mobile phones with messages and a tick list which suggested he was a street dealer.

Jeremy Lasker (defending) said Mahmood was “lightly convicted” but the offences crossed the custody threshold. He told the judge: “I invite your Honour to concentrate on the aspects of the pre-sentence report that are quite sympathetic towards him.”

Sentencing, Judge Simon Newell told the defendant he had played a significant role. The judge, who said Mahmood had a wife in Pakistan, who was going to come over at some stage, continued: “Because of your personal circumstances and age, I am minded to give you a chance in life rather than send you to prison immediately.”