Leeds student drug dealer locked up


A STUDENT who helped run a drugs supply network selling cocaine, ecstasy, cannabis and anabolic steroids to his fellow undergraduates at Leeds Beckett University has been jailed.

A judge described how Omair Ali was almost like a ”student representative” for drug supply at the educational institution as he jailed him for 25 months.

Leeds Crown Court heard the accountancy student was heavily involved in supplying drugs to students for a 12-month period before he was arrested in February last year.

Police officers stopped his car on Harehills Avenue and found him in possession of bags of cocaine and cannabis.

His home was later searched and officers found packets containing 182 anabolic steroid tablets.

Ali initially claimed that the drugs were for his own use. Mobile phones were seized from the property and were found to contain many incriminating text messages dating back over 12 months referring to his involvement in drug supply.

Alisha Kaye, prosecuting, told the court how Ali had sent “advertisements” via text messages offering different types of drug to people in his supply chain.

Ali, of St Martins Avenue, Chapeltown, Leeds, pleaded guilty to possession and offering to supply class A, B and C drugs.

The court heard Ali had become involved in drug supply after he became “hooked” on cannabis and built up a debt with his dealer

A probation officer told the court how Ali had said he had agreed to act as a “go between” and arrange drug deals in order to clear his debt.

Shufquat Khan, mitigating, described Ali as an intelligent and popular man who had done volunteer work for charity and was well respected in the community.

He said Ali was supported in court by friends and family, including his partner.

Mr Khan said: “The only people he dealt with were students. The text messages were adverts to people already known to him.”

Judge Christopher Batty told Ali he had no option but to send him to prison because his involvement in the supply network was so serious and prolonged.

He said: “What a sad day today is. You are a young man who has offered so much to society, to charitable work, to your family, to your partner, to your friends.

“They all sit here today supporting someone who they love dearly. A bright young man with a future in accountancy ahead of you and you got yourself involved in supplying controlled drugs.

“You have said you are a ‘go-between’. I am not entirely sure what that means but no one suggests it was not a significant role in what was undoubtedly a network of controlled drugs supply to students at Leeds Met (the former name for Leeds Beckett University)

“You were effectively almost like the student representative for that organisation.

“People have to understand that if you involve yourself in the supply of class A drugs you are going to go to prison.

“I take no pleasure in this at all but it is my public duty.”