Taxi driver Sajid Hussain was caught dealing drugs – from his cab.
According to the Stoke Sentinel, the 38-year-old transported more than £2,100 of cannabis hidden in a rucksack across the city. Now the defendant, from Hanley, has had his taxi licence revoked.
Stafford Crown Court heard the father of three had agreed to transport the drugs in exchange for a £60 discount on his cannabis bill. Caroline Morris, prosecuting, said a police officer approached Hussain’s Volkswagen Passat in Tunstall at around 9.15pm on January 24. She said: “He drove away at speed and was pursued for about 300 yards when the car turned in to a cul-de-sac. The defendant tried to get out and was detained.”
Police searched Hussain and found bags of cannabis in his coat pockets. Officers also uncovered a rucksack containing nine bags of cannabis, including skunk, with a total value of £2,140, in the car.
Mrs Morris said: “In his interview he made ‘no comment’.”
Hussain pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis with intent to supply.
Anis Ali, mitigating, said: “He is a habitual cannabis user of 20 years. He has made real efforts to address that addiction and since January he has abstained. He is ashamed and regrets what he’s done and is apologetic.”
Recorder William Edis handed the defendant a six-month jail term, suspended for two years, with 120 hours’ unpaid work.
He said: “This was serious wrongdoing – but was isolated and a true one-off. You took part as a distributor. You played a significant role and you did so voluntarily and for a reward.
“For a small sum of £40 to £60 knocked off your bill you agreed to take it from your dealer to someone else. Some was for your own use and you were transporting the rest.”
Mr Edis warned Hussain that if he is caught with cannabis again he would be locked up straight away.
A council spokesman said: “Our principal concern is always the safety of passengers. Taxi drivers are in a position of responsibility and trust, and we take our duty to protect the public extremely seriously. We will always act quickly to remove any driver who is deemed to be a risk to the public.”