A 25-YEAR-old man caught street dealing in Queensbury to pay back a drugs debt has avoided an immediate jail sentence.

Bradford Crown Court heard how Ayden Howard began dealing in Class A and B drugs, such as cocaine, ketamine, cannabis and MDMA, in order to pay back £7,000 to those who had been selling him drugs.

A member of the public called police after spotting Howard dealing drugs in the Co-op car park in Queensbury in March 2021.

Officers found a number of small packets of drugs on him, including cocaine, ketamine and cannabis, as well as a large amount of £20 notes and a mobile phone.

There were photographs, Facebook messages and texts indicating he had been dealing drugs, including cannabis and MDMA.

The prosecutor told the court that the messages indicated he had sold £2,400 worth of cannabis in one day in January 2021 and ten boxes of MDMA worth £1,600 in February 2021.

The notes section on the smartphone included a tick list of drugs sold and money owed. There were also photos of large amounts of drugs bagged un and ready for sale, he said.

In mitigation the court was told that Howard’s cocaine habit had spiralled out of control in his early 20s after he found out he was adopted and lost his job.

“He got into debt to the people he was buying drugs from and as a way of paying back the debt, he started to sell for them.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bradford Crown CourtBradford Crown Court (Image: Newsquest)

“He tried to stop at least once and what happened was the two individuals went and sat outside his mother’s house for a number of days.

“He started selling again because his family was being targeted.”

The court was told that while his drug debt started at £7,000, despite dealing for these people for around a year, the amount barely went down.

It was also said that in the three years since he was caught, Howard, of Cawood Haven, Buttershaw, had turned his life around.

This followed four months in prison last year for dangerous driving.

He had a new partner and a baby together, as well as a new job.

Howard was sentenced to 24 months in prison, suspended for two years, after pleading guilty to one count each of possession with intent to supply cocaine, ketamine and cannabis, and one count each of suppling MDMA and cannabis.

He must also carry out 250 hours of unpaid work and complete a stepping stones programme with the probation service.