A REFORMED drug dealer has been spared jail after Bradford’s top judge blasted Government cuts for causing “unacceptable delays” in bringing cases to court.

Kasim Mahmood Khan, 26, had pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine and skunk cannabis with intent to supply at a previous hearing and was sentenced yesterday at Bradford Crown Court.

The offences took place on July 20, 2018, when the black Toyota Auris Khan was driving triggered traffic cameras alerting police that it may be stolen.

Khan, of Bolton Road, Bradford, was stopped by police in Godley Lane, Halifax, and said he had bought the car hours ago and admitted to being a disqualified driver.

Upon searching the vehicle, officers found bags of cannabis worth a total of £1,180.

A search of his house also took place, where bags of cocaine worth £470 were found in the pockets of one of his jackets.

In mitigation David McGonigal said Khan had turned to drink and drugs as coping mechanisms following the death of his grandfather, before quickly being persuaded into dealing drugs, motivated by making money.

He said: “Kasim Khan has been open, honest and accepts responsibility for his actions.

“He is remorseful, regretful and aware he has let his family down.

“He has moved away from his previous associates and avoided criminal behaviour since.”

Mr McGonigal added Khan has found a steady stream of work and now works in customer service, earning a good income he uses to look after his parents and young family.

“Had this sentencing been in 2018, he would have rightly gone to prison, but now in what way would his imprisonment benefit society?

“If granted liberty he can continue to pay taxes, contribute to society and support his family.”

The Recorder of Bradford Judge Richard Mansell QC said: “You struggled to express grief and as so often happens turned to drink and drugs, and as so often happens then began to deal for those providing you with the drugs.

"If this had been 2018, you would have been looking at three years in prison.

“The delay in bringing this case to court is unacceptable and is caused by the increased pressure on police and the CPS given the steady reduction of their budgets since we entered the so-called austerity years.

"You have had this hanging over your head for two years, and the most powerful part of your mitigation is what you have done in those two years.

“You have got yourself clean, found work and moved away, all of which are uncommon.

"You have completely transformed from the young man dealing drugs in 2018 and in my judgment it would be completely wrong and unconscionable to send you to prison after all the work you have done.

"Prison should provide a realistic chance of rehabilitation, but you have already done that."

Khan was handed three years in prison, suspended for 12 months, and a four month electronically monitored curfew.