A MAN caught with cocaine in a Sheffield nightclub before he fled to the Middle East has been spared jail.
Redfan Lahsoon, aged 22, of Horndean Road, Fir Vale, went on the run to Yemen after he was found with the Class A drug in The Leadmill in 2007.
Sheffield Crown Court heard the university graduate and former amateur boxer had eventually returned to the UK last November.
Stephanie Hollis, prosecuting, said Lahsoon, 18 at the time, had five wraps of cocaine with a street value of £220, cannabis and £441 cash.
When arrested, he said he bought the drugs to sell them to a group of girls. He failed to appear at court the next October, having fled to Yemen.
Judith Seabourne, defending, said Lahsoon bought the drugs for £125. She said the ex-sportsman was once fit and healthy, but started smoking cannabis following the death of his mother in a car crash in 2005.
“She died in his arms, he was involved in that crash as well,” Ms Seabourne said.
She said Lahsoon went to Yemen to visit his mother’s grave and ‘sort his head out’. He attempted suicide, but recovered and while overseas gained a degree in business and marketing.
Judge Simon Lawler QC told him: “You left to avoid the consequences.”
Lahsoon admitted possessing cannabis, and possessing cocaine with intent to supply.
He was jailed for 36 weeks, suspended for two years, with 180 hours of unpaid work and a six-month tagged curfew.