A DRUGS courier caught red-handed delivering a kilo of heroin to the Body Fuel shop in Lilycroft Road, Bradford, has been jailed for five years.

Khuram Riaz was convicted by a jury at Bradford Crown Court last month of ferrying the £25,000 package of Class A drugs to Safraz Rabnawaz at the supplements store.

Riaz, 30, of Manchester Road, Nelson, Lancashire, struggled with plain clothes police officers in the shop at 3pm on July 2, 2018, and had to be subdued when he tried to escape, prosecutor Giles Bridge said.

He denied conspiring with Rabnawaz and others to bring the drugs into Bradford from Lancashire.

Riaz, a taxi driver, said he had known Rabnawaz, a weight trainer, from childhood and had bought steroids and protein shakes from his shop.

He was spotted in a white BMW in a side street near the store and watched by the police as the drugs transaction took place.

Riaz told the jury he thought the arresting officers were robbers and burglars because they wore masks and baseball caps. He was afraid and tried to run away.

His DNA was found on a gilet that the drugs were seized from.

He was remanded in custody after the guilty verdict to be sentenced today.

Mr Bridge said Riaz must have been a trusted courier to be given a kilo of heroin to deliver.

“It was a large-scale operation involving the wholesaling of drugs into Bradford,” he said.

Imran Shafi, Riaz’s barrister, said he was of previous good character.

He was performing a limited function in the drugs operation under the direction of others.

The drugs were of 53% purity, low for a wholesale consignment.

“If you are bringing something in, you make the most of your illicit methods and bulk it up over here,” Mr Shafi said.

He pointed to the number of references written on behalf of Riaz, who was sentenced on a video link to Bradford Crown Court from Leeds Prison.

“It is a very, very unusual background for a person caught up in this sort of offending,” Mr Shafi told the court.

He stressed that Riaz was still maintaining his innocence in the face of the jury’s verdict.

Judge Colin Burn told Riaz: “It may be the only, and it is certainly the first, criminal offence you have ever commited but it is a very serious one.”

He was bringing a kilo of heroin to Rabnawaz in Bradford.

“There are all sorts of reasons why Class A drugs are a very evil sort of commerce,” the judge said.