A support worker who dealt drugs on Bradford's streets has been spared an immediate jail sentence after the judge heard that he was a highly-valued employee with no previous convictions.

Shayan Hasan was caught selling cocaine and cannabis from a VW Passat in Manningham on September 12 last year, Bradford Crown Court heard. Hasan, 28, of Park Hill Drive, Allerton, went on to admit possession of cocaine and cannabis with intent to supply and possession of £530 as criminal cash.

Prosecutor Ayman Khokhar said police in plain clothes spotted Hasan trafficking drugs from the car at 9.30pm. He was first seen on Lumb Lane and arrested when he parked up outside Clifton Villas. He was immediately frank with the police who found £60 worth of cocaine and £177 worth of cannabis concealed in a compartment in the car’s ceiling.

Hasan said: “I’m just a runner,” and confessed to street dealing for six weeks to pay off drug and gambling debts.

He told officers he owed thousands of pounds and demands were being made of him.

Text messages on his phone confirmed that he was dealing the drugs, and it also contained an electronic debt list, Mr Khokhar said.

Hasan’s barrister, Matthew Harding, said it was a tragic story.

He had turned to drug dealing after running up a £10,000 gambling and drug debt.

“He has fallen victim to his vices,” Mr Harding said.

Hasan was a support worker helping vulnerable adults as well as giving his spare time to steering youngsters away from the mistakes he had made.

“He does hugely important work with vulnerable members of society,” Mr Harding said.

He also provided help and financial support to the three children he cared for with his partner.

Mr Harding said that Hasan accepted that he had been the author of his own misfortunes.

He urged Recorder Abdul Iqbal QC to take an exceptional course and spare him immediate custody.

“He’s creditable, worthy and hardworking and he makes a great contribution to society,” he said.

Hasan was sentenced to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years, with 200 hours of unpaid work and up to 20 rehabilitation activity days. He must also pay £250 prosecution costs.

Recorder Iqbal said he was confident that Hasan was a good father and a good worker.

“I hope very much not to see you in a courtroom again,” he told him.