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Drug dealer shown mercy after death of his brother
5:42pm Friday 23rd August 2013 in News
A judge today showed mercy to a cannabis dealer whose brother died in his sleep a few months ago.
Judge Jonathan Rose imposed a suspended prison sentence on 24-year-old Mohammed Ozair after hearing about the tragedy which had struck his family in June.
Ozair, of Woodville Terrace, Bradford, appeared in the dock at the city's crown court today alongside co-accused Mohammed Ashraf, 23, after police stopped the Volkswagen Golf they were in on Manningham Lane in February.
Prosecutor Paul Nicholson told the court how police seized more than £1,000 in cash from the pair.
With the help of a drugs dog, officers also located a stash of almost 20 grammes of cannabis hidden behind a panel in the roof area of the vehicle.
Mr Nicholson said three mobile phones were seized and text messages indicated involvement in drug dealing.
Ozair, who had no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis with intent to supply, possessing a Stanley knife, and possessing criminal property.
Ashraf, of Bolton Street, Bradford, admitted the same drugs and criminal property offences.
Just three days after police had stopped the vehicle Ashraf was given a community sentence by a judge for another drugs-related offence which had been committed a year earlier.
Judge Jonathan Rose jailed Ashraf for a total of 18 months after revoking the community order, but Ozair's barrister Jeremy Hill-Baker urged him to avoid an immediate jail term for his client as an act of mercy.
Mr Hill-Baker revealed that Ozair’s elder brother who worked as an accountant tragically died in June.
“He simply died in his sleep having previously had no signs of ill health,” said Mr Hill-Baker. “He was very close to his brother and the whole family have been shocked by it.”
Judge Rose stressed that cannabis was illegal, damaging and serious and those who dealt in the drug for profit would receive prison sentences.
But he said he was prepared to suspend Ozair's jail term taking into account his previous good character and early guilty plea. Ozair’s 12-month sentence was suspended for two years, and he must do 200 hours’ unpaid work for the community.
“I believe that your place in the next two years is going to be with you family supporting them,” said Judge Rose.
“If you come back then it will be your fault if they are left without your help and support. If I see you in the dock again I will send you to prison immediately. I promise you you will not get a second chance.”