Man jailed for drug dealing - Harpenden

02/11/2017

An Indian student, who stayed on in the UK after his visa ran out, was jailed for 30 months today, Thursday, 2 November 2017, for drug dealing.

Yasir Iqbal, aged 30, was on bail after being caught with cocaine and cannabis in Luton, when he was found with more drugs in Harpenden.

Prosecutor John Cammagh told St Albans Crown Court that at 8.30pm on Sunday, 12 February, police in a marked car followed an Astra driven by Iqbal from Dunstable Road in Luton into Kenilworth Road. They stopped and searched the car. In a clear bag, they found 3.1 grams of cocaine divided up into five deals and 34.9 grams of cannabis.

A day earlier Iqbal had driven off from the BP garage in Dunstable Road, Luton without having paying for £40.01 worth of fuel. Four days before that he had made off without paying for £50.02 worth of petrol from the Shell garage on Ampthill Road, Flitwick.

He was on bail on 29 June this year, when at a quarter to five in the afternoon he was seen behind the wheel of a Ford Focus in Aysgarth Close, Harpenden. The police pulled up in front of the car to block its escape. Iqbal was 'very nervous' and gave false details, saying he was there to see a man called Anthony, who he worked with at a restaurant in Wheathampsted. When the car was searched the officers found 4 bags of cocaine, 10 bags of cannabis and £380 cash. A mobile phone was examined and it was found Iqbal had been dealing for the previous two months.

The prosecutor said he told the officers: "It is not a large quantity. Cannabis should be legalised anyway."

Iqbal of New Bedford Road, Luton appeared for sentence for possessing cocaine and cannabis with intent to supply, possessing cocaine and cannabis, two charges of making off without payment, and having no insurance and no licence.

Dawn Pearson, defending, said Iqbal, who was born in Dehli, was in debt to his landlord and more importantly his drug dealer. "He required him to deliver drugs to persons whose addresses were provided. In return, his £1500 drug debt was gradually reduced," she said. A girlfriend introduced him to drugs and he built up the debts to the dealer, she said. Ms Pearson said that being remanded in custody had been a wake up call for Iqbal, who she said is genuinely remorseful and who wants to return to India.

Judge Stephen Warner told him: "You played a willing part in the distribution chain that allows drugs to circulate. The use abuse of drugs blights lives of those addicted to them. You played a part facilitating the supply of these drugs for commercial gain. It is a tragedy that you allowed yourself to get involved."

In addition to the custodial sentence, he ordered the forfeiture of £380, plus the drugs and a mobile phone.

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