Thursday, 5 May 2011

'Learn English, get a job and stop smoking cannabis': What judge said to immigrant drug dealer on benefits

A judge gave an immigrant drug dealer a verbal dressing-down by telling him to 'get a job, learn English and stop smoking cannabis'.

Pakistani-born Mohammed Ramzan, 32, had been spending £20 a day on cannabis, paid for by his benefits from the taxpayer.

After admitting three drug possession counts following raids police raids on his home in Derby, he faced a verbal tirade from a Crown Court judge.

As he was handed a suspended jail term at Derby Crown Court, Judge Andrew Hamilton told Ramzan, who had spoken in court through an interpreter: 'It's about time you learnt to speak English.

'It seems to me very difficult to live in this country if you can't speak the language.

'And you should be going out, getting work, instead of sitting at home smoking cannabis.

'My advice to you is to give up drugs, go and learn English, go and get a job and do something useful.'

The court heard how police raided Ramzan's home in Derby, and found cannabis in plastic bags ready to sell.

Twice over the next three months, they raided different houses where the 32-year-old was living and again found evidence of cannabis.

Ramzan admitted three counts of possession with intent to supply.

The court heard how officers who searched Ramzan's home in December 2009 found a holdall with his name on it and an address in Pakistan.

Inside it were different types of cannabis, including vegetation and 26g of resin.

Scales to weigh amounts of the drug were also discovered, along with four mobile phones.

They contained texts saying 'ring me', messages about debts - and one which read: 'Have you got any weed?'

More raids were carried out in January and March 2010 at other properties where he was staying. Cannabis was found at these.

Ramzan initially denied knowledge of some of the cannabis but admitted some of it was for personal use.

Ramzan told the court, through an interpreter, that he had tried successfully to cut down on the amount of drugs he was taking and he was 'motivated to change'.

During the court hearing, Judge Hamilton said: 'I'm told you have reduced your drug intake from £20 a day to £10 a day.

'Where do you get £70 a week? Where does that come from?'

Ramzan, speaking through his interpreter, said: 'It's from benefits, your honour.'

The judge asked how much he claimed in benefits, and was told £120 every fortnight.

He told Ramzan, now living in Derby, that the police would pay 'regular visits' to his address to make sure he was not taking drugs.

Ramzan was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and a two-year supervision order. He must also carry out 180 hours of unpaid work.

The judge added: 'I hope in the course of the supervision, you are directed to learn English.'


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