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Drug mission pair get long prison terms
TWO men arrested as they drove into Worcester to sell drugs have been given lengthy jail sentences.
Mohammed Azad, aged 40, who had several previous convictions for drug offences, did not give evidence but was jailed for seven years. His accomplice, 24-year-old Shazad Ali, who claimed he was on an excursion to buy a birthday present for his three-year-old sister, was given three years.
Both men were found guilty of possession of drugs with intent to supply by unanimous verdicts of a jury at Worcester Crown Court.
Prosecutor William Rickarby said the pair were caught after police in an unmarked car followed them into Vicar Street, off Rainbow Hill. They found heroin and crack cocaine valued at £1,150 in the car. Ali was driving the Toyota Avensis although he had no licence or insurance. In addition to a ‘drug phone’ there was a crisp packet under the back seat which contained 108 drug wraps.
Abigail Nixon, for Ali, claimed that he was a naive participant who had been dragged into the case by a manipulative older drug dealer.
But Natasha Bournes, for Azad, said that although he had previous convictions for supplying drugs, the last was more than five years ago. There was no fingerprint evidence to say the drugs were his. Previously in the trial Ali, a market worker whose former girlfriend lived in Worcester, told the jury he had travelled to Worcester to see a friend’s cousin.
He claimed he was on his way to a health food restaurant in Birmingham when Azad flashed his car lights and invited him for a ride.
The pair drove to Worcester in Azad’s car, he said, but he took over the driving on the outskirts of the city when Azad felt ill and got into the back seat.
When he stopped in Vicar Street to let Azad out to urinate, police in an umarked vehicle swooped on the car and seized the drugs.
The pair are both from Birmingham – Azad of Burbury Street and Ali, of Kenilworth Road.