Student dealer accused of lying by Leeds judge

A student drug dealer who tried to claim it “was a one off” has been accused of lying by a Leeds judge.

Omar Abd El Fattah, who is studying for a degree in architecture, claimed he had been given a large consignment of drugs to sell to pay off a debt he amassed for crashing a sports car he had hired.

But Judge Penelope Belcher said his story simply “didn’t add up” as evidence of dealing stretched back for almost a year.

Prosecuting at Leeds Crown Court this week, Hollie Alcock said Fattah’s car had been pulled over by police at the Shell garage on York Roads, Leeds, on the afternoon of January 1, 2021.

Fattah appeared at Leeds Crown Court.

After smelling cannabis, they found a bag containing 23 bags of the drug with a value of £440.

On his phone they found evidence of dealing of price lists of not only cannabis, but dealing involving cocaine, MDMA and ketamine dating back to February 2020.

The 21-year-old, of Arlington Road, Gipton, initially told police he knew nothing of the drugs, despite his fingerprints found on some of the bags, and claimed the phone was not his.

He later admitted a charge of dealing cannabis.

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Mitigating, Fatima Laher described his plight as a “significant fall from grace” having hired an expensive sports car which he had crashed and caused £7,000 worth of damage.

Unable to pay or claim through insurance, he was given the chance to clear the debt through selling drugs.

Ms Laher said he was given a “large consignment as a one off”, but was interrupted by Judge Belcher, who said: “It makes no sense at all, it just doesn’t add up.”

Addressing Fattah, she said: “I’m not persuaded that you are telling the truth.

"I recognise I have to deal with you for what you have been convicted of, supplying Class B drugs. Had I been dealing with you for Class A drugs, you would have gone straight to custody.

"I can’t accept it was a one off, it’s unfortunate you could not come before the courts and be more straightforward.

"You are well educated and knew this was illegal.”

She jailed him for eight months, suspended for 18 months, and gave him 150 hours of unpaid work.