FAMILY members of a vulnerable teenager caught drug dealing on a Bradford street wept with relief when he was spared custody.

Atif Mohammed, 19, who has learning difficulties, was bullied into selling heroin and crack cocaine on Lumb Lane, Manningham, by accomplices who drove off when he was apprehended.

Mohammed was 18 when he was caught red-handed by the police at 12.45pm on November 16 last year, Bradford Crown Court heard today.

He pleaded guilty to two charges of possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply and one count of supplying crack cocaine.

Mohammed, of Priestman Street, Manningham, was spotted exchanging drugs for money by officers on patrol in an unmarked vehicle.

The Vauxhall Corsa he had arrived in sped off when he was arrested.

Mohammed had 49 wraps of crack cocaine and heroin on him of up to 73% purity. The two phones he was caught with had no evidence of drug dealing on them and the Crown accepted that he did not deal directly with the organisation’s customers.

He told the police he was at college and wanted to be a car mechanic but he was bullied into drug dealing.

He said those higher up the chain had “blackmailed” him by threatening to tell his family things he had not done.

They also said they would burn him if he did not go out and work for them.

Mohammed said he was ordered to peddle heroin and crack cocaine for £7.50 a deal and told where to go to meet clients.

He was of previous good character the court was told.

Mohammed’s barrister, Howard Shaw, said there were probation and psychiatric reports and references from Mohammed’s family who were in court to support him.

Mr Shaw said the teenager had been bullied since he was a young child. He had a learning disability and was supported by loving relatives.

Judge Jonathan Rose sentenced Mohammed to 20 months in a young offender institution, suspended for two years, with a six month electronically monitored curfew order and 25 rehabilitation activity days with the probation service.

The judge said he was “wholly ill-equipped to go to prison.”

He told Mohammed that drugs ruin people’s lives and they pay from them by stealing from others.

Judge Rose pointed out the door that leads from the dock to the cells, saying the teenager would have gone through it, and to prison in a van, if he was sent to immediate custody.

“You have been bullied into dealing drugs and would suffer unjustly and disproportionately if you were locked up,” he said.