A DEBT-ridden drug addict narrowly avoided an immediate jail sentence after police searched his bedroom and found a stash of cannabis along with 12 mobile phones, nearly £1,000 in cash and designer clothing and footwear.

Sohail Ashraf, 24, was said to have been storing the drugs haul in return for getting £100 a week knocked off his cannabis debt and his own barrister described his decision to get involved as foolish and naive.

Bradford Crown Court heard on Monday that Ashraf, of Arnside Road, Bradford, had no previous convictions, and barrister Joel Wootten said his client saw his involvement as “a quick fix”.

Prosecutor Alisha Kaye said police officers went to Ashraf’s family home in April last year on an unrelated matter, but when they searched his bedroom they found just over one kilogram of cannabis in a large bag.

She said the street value of the cannabis was estimated to be about £8,500.

Miss Kaye said officers also found 12 mobile phones including so-called “burner phones” together with four sets of weighing scales, containers of bulking agent, zip-locked bags, and £985 in cash.

“The police officers also noted that there was a lot of expensive designer clothing around such as Louis Vitton bags, Moncler jackets, Gucci baseball caps and Nike trainers,” said Miss Kaye.

Ashraf, who wasn’t present at the time of the search, was arrested a week later and in his police interview, he said he owed money for his own cannabis addiction.

“He would not say who the drug owner was and said he was scared of them,” said Miss Kaye.

“He said he got into debt and was holding the drugs to pay the debt off.”

Ashraf pleaded guilty to a charge of possessing the cannabis with intent to supply and Recorder Patrick Palmer sentenced him to 12 months in prison suspended for two years.

Mr Wootten told the judge that Ashraf had said that most of the items found in the bedroom did not belong to him, but some did.

He submitted that Ashraf was now cutting down his use of cannabis significantly and if he was sent to prison he would be “easy prey” for more experienced criminals.

As part of the suspended sentence, Recorder Palmer said Ashraf would have to comply with an electronically monitored home curfew between 8pm and 6am for the next two months.

Ashraf will also have to comply with a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement and do 120 hours unpaid work for the community.

The judge said he had just been persuaded to suspend the jail sentence and Ashraf had come very close to going to prison.