A MAN who turned to dealing hard drugs when his takeaway business failed has been jailed for three years.

Burnley Crown Court heard PCSO Becky Walker and her colleague were patrolling the Bank Hall area of Burnley at 2.30pm on April 4, last year, when they saw 22-year-old Waqar Arshad dealing heroin and crack cocaine.

Prosecuting, Emma Kehoe said: “PCSO Walker observed a number of males approaching an Asian male – this defendant – and it appeared transactions were taking place. The males handed over items to the Asian male and they handed items over to him.

“PSCO Walker followed the Asian male. She asked him to stop. There was a short chase. They ended up near the canal. PCSO Walker and her colleague found the defendant hiding in some bushes. A package was floating on top of the water. That package was recovered.”

The court heard the package contained individual wraps of heroin and crack cocaine. The total street value of the drugs - 3.33 grams of heroin and 7.01 grams of crack cocaine - was £860.

Arshad was searched and he was carrying £420 and a mobile phone, which when examined had text messages advertising drugs for sale.

Arshad, of Grey Street, Burnley, pleaded guilty to possessing heroin and crack cocaine with intent to supply.

David Taylor, defending, said Arshad and his brother had borrowed £32,000 from within the family to open a takeaway business in the town, signing a 15-year lease contract in September 2017, with monthly rent of £1,000. When that business failed the family had attempted to sell the leasehold to the business but had been let down twice. With mounting rental arrears and other costs of opening the business, it is against that backdrop Arshad, who is the main carer for his mother, turned to drug-dealing, Mr Taylor said.

He added: “He was persuaded by people he thought were friends to deal small amounts of drugs to recover some money. He had no income whatsoever.”

Jailing Arshad for three years, Judge Philip Parry said: “Many people in life and business fall on hard times. They don’t start selling drugs on their own streets to start make ends meet. But you did.

“You are not a drug user yourself but you must be aware of the misery they bring.”