Heroin and cocaine dealer jailed after being caught red-handed in Harrogate

A heroin and crack-cocaine dealer has been jailed for nearly four years after he was caught red-handed in Harrogate.

Thursday, 31st October 2019, 4:35 pm
Updated Friday, 1st November 2019, 9:42 am
Anjam Ahmed, 52, was being driven around in a red Ford along Knaresborough Road and was giving directions to his driver when police stopped them on July 9 last year, York Crown Court heard.

Anjam Ahmed, 52, was being driven around in a red Ford along Knaresborough Road and was giving directions to his driver when police stopped them on July 9 last year, York Crown Court heard.

Police had been informed that Ahmed - who was wanted on other matters - was in Harrogate and they sent out a search team. Officers spotted the vehicle where Ahmed was sat in the back seat, “appearing to be giving directions to the driver”, said prosecutor Paul Nicholson.

Police stopped the Ford and hauled Ahmed out of the vehicle. He was initially found with what appeared to be prescription-type drugs, but in the police van Ahmed “tried to swallow something that he had secreted in his clothing” which turned out to be Class A drugs.

Officers found five heroin packages and two packets of crack cocaine, some of which had fallen onto the floor of the police van. Although the packages contained just under 1g of heroin and only about half a gram of cocaine, it quickly became clear why police were on red alert to Ahmed’s presence in Harrogate.

Going way back to 1979, Ahmed had racked up 127 offences during a criminal career spanning four decades. His rap sheet included drug-dealing, theft, violence, firearms offences, counterfeit currency, driving matters and escaping from custody.

In 1995, he was jailed for dealing amphetamine at Peterborough Crown Court. In 2006, he was jailed for 30 months at Leeds Crown Court for supplying heroin and crack cocaine.

In April 2013, he was jailed for over 10 years at Manchester Crown Court for conspiracy to rob.

Defence barrister Rupert Taylor said Ahmed had been dealing to fund his own addiction but never had the “trappings of wealth”, as evidenced by his rather downmarket form of ‘chauffeur’ car on the day of his arrest.

Ahmed, described as an “intelligent” man, had been released from prison halfway through his sentence following his long stretch behind bars for the Manchester robbery conviction. His arrest in Harrogate occurred not long after his release, while he was on prison licence.

Ahmed, of no fixed abode, had been recalled to prison following his arrest but the “other matters” of which he had been accused came to nought. He appeared for sentence for the drug matters on Tuesday looking chastened and wearing a grey Adidas top.

Judge Simon Hickey told him he had been convicted of dealing “the most lethal drugs we deal with this at this Crown court”.

“It causes death, desperation and misery on our streets and huge economic problems, with people stealing to fund their habits,” said Mr Hickey.

“You knew full well what you were doing on the streets of Harrogate, in a red motor car, directing the driver to drive around.

“You tried to swallow the drugs to get rid of the evidence. At some stage, someone took you to hospital (as a precaution).”

Jailing Ahmed for three years and nine months, Mr Hickey said it was “the least” sentence he could impose.