A drug dealer who stored a potentially lethal firearm in his wardrobe and a stash of cocaine in his car has been jailed for seven years and four months.

Asif Mahmood alerted the police to the firearm, referred to “murders in Bradford and Nottingham,” and told officers he needed to clear his head, Bradford Crown Court heard today.

He claimed he was made to store the adapted Bruni Olympic 6 firearm and 116 wraps of cocaine after writing off an Audi RS3 he wasn’t insured to drive.

He said he had lost his job as a warehouse operative because of the coronavirus pandemic and been unable to keep up the payments on the £18,000 debt.

Mahmood told the court he was threatened and agreed to store the gun and then a bag that he suspected contained drugs.

But Judge Jonathan Rose rejected his account, labelling him a Class A drug dealer and saying he was holding on to the firearm for his criminal associates.

Mahmood, 30, of Burnett Place, Marshfields, Bradford, pleaded guilty to possession of the drugs with intent to supply and possession of an illegal firearm and nine rounds of ammunition on August 21 last year.

He insisted that he was not a drug dealer but his basis of plea was not accepted by the Crown and a trial of the issue was held in which he gave evidence.

Prosecutor Alasdair Campbell said Mahmood went to the police station and told officers about the revolver and ammunition in his wardrobe. They also discovered the drugs worth £1,480 in his car. Two draft text messages on his phone showed that he was selling the cocaine, the court was told.

The revolver had been drilled out and fired. It was a viable firearm and ammunition was found with it, Mr Campbell said.

Mahmood’s barrister, Allan Armbrister, said that because he had handed in the gun he deserved to get a shorter sentence or it would send out the wrong message to the public.

Judge Rose said he couldn’t be sure why Mahmood handed in the gun but said he was lying about the debt and the threats.

He described the revolver as a highly dangerous firearm capable of killing people. It had been fired, but not by Mahmood. He was holding on to it for his criminal associates.

Mahmood was jailed for five years for the firearms offences and two years and four months for the drug dealing, the sentences to run consecutively.