A man who was caught with wraps of cocaine down his trousers after being seen carrying out a drug deal from his car has escaped being jailed.
Jasbir Aulak 48 of Craig Close, Leamington, had pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine in April this year with intent to supply it.
But at Warwick Crown Court, even though guidelines indicate immediate imprisonment for street dealing, he was given a two-year sentence suspended for two years.
Aulak was also ordered to do 140 hours of unpaid work, to take part in a rehabilitation activity, and to comply with an electronically-monitored curfew from 7pm to 7am for 12 weeks.
But Recorder Lance Ashworth QC did not order him to pay any costs, and only ordered £50 of the £750 seized from him to be forfeited under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
Prosecutor Ian Windridge said that on the evening of April 16 Aulak was seen sitting in a silver Ford Focus parked in Portland Street, Leamington.
A town centre CCTV operator watched as another man approached the car and saw ‘a transaction’ take place between that man and Aulak, so he contacted the police.
Officers followed the Focus and stopped it after Aulak had dropped off a passenger at a shop.
He had £750 in cash in his pocket, and when he was searched at Leamington police station the officers recovered a clingfilm package containing three £50 wraps of cocaine.
Aulak, who had previous convictions for dishonesty and money-laundering, which was not drug-related, admitted the transaction seen by the CCTV operator.
He said he had supplied a half-gram wrap of cocaine for £50 and would also sell to other people.
“But did not accept he was dealing commercially, even though he had just admitted a commercial deal,’ added Mr Windridge, who asked for the forfeiture of the £750 and the drugs.
Sean Logan, defending, said Aulak, a self-employed driver working for a courier company, earning about £21,000 a year, was selling cocaine to fund his own use of the drug.
“He says he was a recreational user, but he has now addressed that before it gets any further, and has attended the Recovery Partnership. He sold it to adult friends who were also recreational users.”
Of the cash, Mr Logan said Aulak accepted that £50 of it had come from the drug sale that had been seen taking place.
But of the rest, Aulak’s explanation was that £550 of it was to make his mortgage payment and to pay £100 off his mortgage arrears, while the remaining £150 was for living expenses.
And Mr Logan added: “My submission would be that because of the scale and the nature of the dealing, his early admission, and some of the personal mitigation, it may be possible to take it to a starting point at a level which could be suspended.”
Sentencing Aulak, Recorder Ashworth told him: “You were approached by a male who was someone you claim to know, although you have not named him, and you supplied him with cocaine for £50.
“At the police station you were found to have three further wraps of cocaine. You have admitted it is not the first time you have done this.
“Because it’s street dealing, the starting point is four years and six months, with a range of three years to six years before credit for a guilty plea.
“It is on the very cusp of an immediate sentence, but I am just able to suspend it.”