Judge gives cannabis dealer chance to ‘grow up’

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A cannabis addict who went into business dealing the drug for cash walked free from court after a judge gave him a chance to “grow up”.

Mohammed Rizwan Sikander (27), had been caught with a 37 gram stash of cannabis, worth £400 on the streets and ready to be sold and £400 cash at his home in Burnley, the town’s crown court heard.

The hearing was told Sikander, who had the cannabis in individual gram bags in a shoe box in his bedroom wardrobe, had been arrested and made no comment.

The defendant, who has a record for possessing cannabis, had earlier admitted possessing the drug with intent to supply, last December 9th and had been committed for sentence by Pennine magistrates. Sikander, of Colne Road, was sentenced to 12 months in custody, suspended for two years, with 12 months’ supervision.

Sentencing, Judge Beverley Lunt told him he had decided to become a drug dealer for profit and to ”move up a notch” and become a more serious criminal. But, she continued, the probation service stated they could actually work with the defendant over a significant time and make sure he didn’t go back to drugs at all.

She told Sikander: “I will give you a chance. Let’s see if you can grow up and make something of your life.”

Emma Kehoe (prosecuting) told the court police had been looking into Sikander last December, in relation to other allegations. He was arrested at his home last December 9th and police found a small wrap of cannabis in his pocket and then searched the property. They found the cannabis bush, a couple of mobile phones and cash.

Judith McCullough (defending) said his family was aware of elements of his lifestyle and had put in place a plan to move him away from the area, give him a fresh start with support and keep a watchful eye over him.

The barrister continued: “They accept, as he does, he has done wrong, but his family and indeed the defendant want to do all they can to put him back on the right track.”

Miss McCullogh said Sikander was a heavy user of cannabis at the time and recognised now perhaps that was a significant problem for him.

The barrister added: “If anything, these proceedings have had a salutary effect upon this defendant. He appreciates he now has to make a choice. He is 27 years of age. He is no longer a child. These proceedings have been a shock to his system. He is sorry and ashamed to find himself before this crown court.”