A UNIVERSITY student brought “shame” on his family after developing a cocaine habit while dealing with the pressures of final exams, a court heard.

Police found wraps of the class A drug in Shabaz Shafaq’s car after stopping him in Worcester, around the time of his final exams for a Finance and Accounting degree.

The 22-year-old’s solicitor, Jason Patel, said the University of the West of England student was finding the final year of his course “difficult” and he was “using on the odd occasion”.

Mr Patel said his client’s family, from Pakistan, were “disgusted” when they became aware of Shafaq’s drug use, while the defendant himself was “ashamed”.

“In the Asian community, you have neighbours asking questions about the circumstances,” explained the solicitor, before referring to the “shame he has brought on his family”.

Nicola Ritchie, prosecuting, said Shafaq was stopped by police in his car, while driving in the St Peter’s area of Worcester at around 7.30pm on June 19.

She said the defendant was in the car with another person and on searching the vehicle, officers found 11 wraps of cocaine underneath the rear passenger seat.

The drugs were hidden inside empty Starburst packets, the court heard, and the defendant confirmed it was cocaine before he was arrested.

Shafaq, of Mortlake Avenue, Worcester, accepted a charge of possession of a controlled drug of Class A when appearing before magistrates on Thursday (November 22).

He has no previous convictions.

Mr Patel said Shafaq co-operated with police and, referring to the substance, told them “exactly what it was” when asked.

The student went on to fail his final exams but passed them during re-sits in August and graduates next week.

The solicitor said being held in custody was a wake-up call for Shafaq who is now worried that any conviction could hamper his chances of landing a graduate job.

He currently has a part-time job selling mobile phones, earning around £500 a month, the court heard.

Mr Patel asked that the defendant be given a conditional discharge.

Harry Markou, chair of the bench, said: “We have considered the fact that you want a conditional discharge. But this is far too serious for that. We are going to fine you for possession.”

Shafaq, who was supported by his dad in court, was ordered to pay a total of £325 in fines and costs.