'They are a plague': Man jailed for trying to smuggle cannabis and spice into Leeds prison
A man who went on the run after being caught trying to smuggle cannabis and spice into a Leeds jail has been given a prison sentence.
Kauser Habib was arrested at HMP Wealstun moments after he handed a drugs package to an inmate at the category C prison, near Thorp Arch.
Leeds Crown Court heard the incident took place on October 2, 2018, during visiting time.
Jade Edwards, prosecuting, said a prison officer noticed the inmate trying to hide something in the back of his trousers.
The officer took hold of his arm and told the inmate he was going to be searched.
The inmate threw the package back towards Habib.
Habib then tried to throw the item away.
CCTV footage was reviewed which showed Habib taking the package from his trousers and passing it to the inmate.
The package was recovered and found to contain cannabis, sheets of paper soaked in spice and nicotine.
The items had a street value of £330 but were worth up to £2,230 in prison.
Habib was interviewed and said he had committed the offences to pay off a drug debt.
He later pleaded not guilty to all charges and then absconded after his case was listed for a trial.
Habib, 49, of Hoyle House Lane, Huddersfield, pleaded guilty to three counts of conveying a list A article into prison, one of conveying a list C article into prison and one of failing to surrender.
He has previous convictions for supplying heroin and failing to comply with a community order.
Marte Alnaes, mitigating, said Habib had been addicted to heroin for more than 20 years.
Ms Alneas said her client committed the offences in order to pay off a debt he had built up with people who had supplied him with the drug.
Habib was jailed for 18 months.
Recorder Ben Nolan QC said: "As everyone knows, drugs in prison cause problems for prison discipline and it causes problems for security, ultimately.
"They are a plague.
"It must be dealt with by a prison sentence."