Jobless father who acted as drug courier to pay for son’s wedding is spared jail by judge

An unemployed father-of-two who acted as a courier for cash and drugs in order to earn money for his son’s wedding has been given a suspended sentence.

Dilafsar Khan, 45, was arrested by police last September after firearms officers spotted three vehicles parked up on a slip road on to the M606 at Bradford.

Prosecutor Nadim Bashir said the officers initially thought it was a road accident, but as they approached the three cars drove off in different directions.

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The officers managed to stop the Volkswagen Golf being driven by Khan and when it was searched they found almost 1.5 kilograms of cannabis in 49 bags, worth just over £12,000.

The police search of the vehicle also found cash totalling £15,585 secreted in the car. Checks of Khan’s tax records revealed that he had not been employed since 2007/08 and was in receipt of benefits.

Khan, of Smiddles Lane, Bankfoot, Bradford, initially denied any knowledge of the drugs in the boot or the hidden cash, but at an earlier court hearing he finally admitted charges of possessing cannabis with intent to supply and possessing criminal property.

Khan, who had no previous convictions, was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for 18 months, and made the subject of a supervision order for 18 months during a hearing at Bradford Crown Court yesterday.

His barrister Shufqat Khan told Recorder Robert Spragg that at the time his client got involved in the offending he was unemployed and one of the on-going issues in his life was paying for his son’s wedding.

Mr Khan said within the Asian community the expectation of a father to be able to provide for his son’s wedding was a significant pressure. “He was a man without a job...without the resources to pay for a good send-off for his son,” said Mr Khan.

Recorder Spragg heard the defendant had some mental health issues and he was also the primary carer for his own 82-year-old mother.

Mr Khan said the offending had been “a one-off” and his client had now learned his lesson.

Recorder Spragg said the offences crossed the custody threshold but that Khan’s previous good character and other mitigation meant he did not have to go to prison immediately.