Man swallowed drug while fleeing police
8:20am Friday 7th September 2012 in News
A DRUG dealer who was arrested as he tried to hide in a service station has been jailed for three years.
Mohammed Akram went into the Shell Garage at Cocklebury as he tried to avoid capture, then swallowed the four wraps of heroin which he had gone out to sell.
The 34-year-old fled from police, who were in Gorse Hill after residents reported seeing people peddling drugs in the streets.
And when officers went to a nearby flat, they found resident Jani Hassan looking after nearly 100 wraps of heroin and crack cocaine along with thousands of pounds in cash.
Michael Hall, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court how police were in the area on the afternoon of March 22 after calls from concerned locals.
At about 4.45pm, officers from the Swindon drug enforcement team arrived and saw Akram leaving a flat on Beatrice Street.
He was walking towards two known drug users when he made eye contact with the officers, which alerted him.The dealer then did an about turn and made his way to the nearby Shell garage and into the shop on the forecourt.
Mr Hall said as PC Barnett approached, Akram appeared to be swallowing something, which he would later admit was four wraps of heroin.
The police then went to the flat he had come from and the front door was answered by 43-year-old Hassan, who had an upstairs flat.
He told them that he had been looking after some money for others and produced a wad of £470 from his pocket along with two tinfoil pipes.
Another man was also found in the flat, along with 99 wraps of heroin and crack cocaine in about equal quantities.
When he was questioned, Hassan said Akram had arrived from London the day before looking for a neighbour.
He invited him into his home to wait, but when the man in the flat below didn’t turn up, he allowed him to stay the night before realising he was a drug dealer.
Mr Hall said Akram’s phone showed text messages which related to drug dealing including the meet he was on his way to when he was arrested.
Hassan, of Beatrice Street, and Akram, of East Ham, London, both pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply drugs.
The court was told that while Akram had scores of previous convictions, Hassan, who is of Kenyan extraction, had not been in trouble before.
Kate Roxburgh, defending Akram, said her client had been a long-term user and after getting into debt with his dealer, was sent to Swindon to sell for him to pay it off.
Paul Trotman, defending Hassan, asked the court not to impose an immediate jail term for his client’s lesser role in the enterprise. Passing sentence, Judge Douglas Field told Akram: “You were the street runner in this operation: you played a very significant role.”
He told Hassan: “I am prepared to accept you played a very much minor role here. You have no previous convictions. It was your premises that were used for a very short period for the drugs operation.”
The judge jailed Hassan for 12 months but suspended it for a year and told him to do 240 hours of unpaid work. He said “This is a merciful sentence in view of the seriousness of the offences.” Akram was jailed for three years.