Sheffield drug dealer armed with knife for protection is jailed

London Road, Sheffield.
London Road, Sheffield.
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A drug dealer operating on the London Road area who carried a knife for protection has been locked up for 15 months.

Police on mobile patrol in Leverton Gardens saw two Somalian men behaving suspiciously, Sheffield Crown Court was told.

They changed the direction they were walking and quickened their pace before the officers captured one, while the other escaped.

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Sufyan Imtiaz, aged 19, of Huntingdon Crescent, Sharrow, was found to have a pocket knife on him and a small amount of cannabis.

On route to the police station he asked officers: “What are you going to do with my cannabis?”

And he asked the officers: “I thought I was allowed it for personal use.”

He volunteered that he had further packets of ecstasy and crystals of MDMA, the chemical used in ecstasy, on him, which was worth £1,800 on the streets.

Imtiaz said he was on his way to buy some cigarettes and the cannabis was for his personal use.

He had a previous conviction for carrying a bladed article.

He admitted possessing MDMA and cannabis with intent to supply and possessing a knife with a blade more than three inches long.

Kevin Waddingham, defending, said Imtiaz was of borderline learning disability and had been exploited.

His previous knife conviction was related to an incident of violence when he was in the company of others and had been given encouragement.

“He carries a knife because of his personal issues, his vulnerability and his perception of his environment,” said the lawyer.

“He feels worried and threatened but the knife never saw the light of day.”

Imtiaz admitted his offending on the basis that he was given the drugs to look after by a Somalian man and he was worried what might happen if he did not return them.

He claimed he was given the ecstasy and cannabis for his own personal use.

The judge, Recorder Duncan Smith, told Imtiaz: “A knife you feel you are entitled to carry around with you.

“I’m afraid I disagree.”

The judge said he was giving Imtiaz a more lenient sentence because the prosecution accepted he was looking after the drugs for somebody else.

He was given nine months’ detention for possessing MDMA with intent to supply, three months concurrent for possessing cannabis and six months consecutive for carrying the knife – a total of 15 months in prison.

“I think you need to learn your lesson the hard way,” said the judge.