Get a job, learn English and stop smoking cannabis: court tells an immigrant

Court heard he spends £20 a day of his benefits on drugs

6th May 2011: An immigrant allegedly into drug dealing living in the UK on benefits has been told by a judge to “get a job, learn English and stop smoking cannabis”, if he wanted to avoid seeing himself behind bars.
The warning was given to Pakistan-born Mohammed Ramzan. It came after the court heard he spent £20 a day of his benefits on drugs.

He has been given a 12-month prison sentence, though it has been placed under suspension for two years. A two-year supervision order too has been passed. He is also required to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work.

Understanding the proceedings with the help of an interpreter, the 32-year-old admitted three counts of drug dealing. The police in a raid at his house had earlier discovered cannabis bagged and ready for sale.

The officers also carried out raids at different houses where Ramzan was living twice over the next three months. Each time they found evidence of cannabis use.

At Derby Crown Court, Judge Andrew Hamilton told him: “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 is to give up drugs, go and learn English, get a job and do something useful.”

The court was also told by the officers who had searched his house in December 2009 that they had discovered a bag with his name on it and an address in Pakistan.

Inside, were different types of cannabis, including 26 grams of resin. Discovered along with kit was a scales to weigh the drug, four mobile phones with texts relating to “weed” transactions.

Ramzan of Derby, on the other hand, insisted the drug was for personal use. But changed his plea before the trial.

He went ahead to tell the court he had cut down on the consumption of drugs and was “motivated to change”.
Judge Hamilton asserted: “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?”

Speaking through his interpreter, he said: “It’s from benefits, your honour.”

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