A TEENAGER caught fleeing a car containing class A drugs claimed he was being paid in cannabis to move it for his drug dealer.

Preston Crown Court heard that just weeks after being released while police investigated that incident, 19-year-old Zeeshan Zaman was caught by plained clothes officers dealing crack cocaine, heroin and cannabis in a Blackburn alleyway.

When he was arrested for the second offence Zaman initially said he found the drugs, before later telling an officer: “I am in debt. What am I supposed to do?”

Prosecuting, Simeon Evans said the day before the first drugs arrest on May 23 police witnessed a Volkswagen Golf being driven dangerously in Blackburn but were unable to stop it.

The following day the car was seen again around Cedar Street and Zaman was in the driver’s seat.

After he abandoned the car, Zaman was chased by police through gardens and was witnessed trying to discard a black pot, similar to what camera film is stored in.

Mr Evans said the pot contained five wraps of heroin and three wraps of crack cocaine, with a combined value of £135.

When Zaman was searched, he was found to be carrying his own personal iPhone, a “burner phone”, £188 and six bags of cannabis with a street value of £110. In the boot of the car there was a bag containing 230 grams of cannabis bush, valued at £1670, and a set of weighing scales. The vehicle also contained empty snap bags.

Zaman pleaded guilty to possessing heroin, crack cocaine, cannabis and possessing criminal property in relation to that incident.

That was on the basis he wasn’t involved in the dealing of drugs and had been asked to move the Golf from one point to another by his drug dealer, a man he wouldn’t name. For that he was to be paid with 12 bags of cannabis. He said he knew what was in the pot because he had dealt with drug dealers before so, when he was stopped by the police, he had taken the pot and run away.

Mr Evans said Zaman had been released under investigation after being interviewed about the May 23 incident.

However he was detained in an alleyway in St James’s Road, Blackburn, on July 16 after plained clothes officers witnessed drug-dealing taking place.

When searched this time Zaman had one wrap of crack cocaine and eight wraps of heroin, with a combined value of £180, as well as 13.6 grams of cannabis, valued at £170. He also had £835 cash, his own personal iPhone and two burner phones.

Zaman, of Trevor Close, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to possessing heroin, crack cocaine, cannabis and possessing criminal property in relation to that arrest.

That was on the basis he had gone to the alleyway to purchase drugs from his regular dealer - the man he claimed had told him to move the Golf. When police arrived he said the dealer handed him the drugs to look after, something he said he only agreed to do because he felt pressured by the man who knew where he lived and who his family were.

Mr Evans said when police ran analysis on the cell sighting of Zaman’s iPhone and the burner phone found on May 23, they found they ‘co-located’ 211 occasions.

Following Zaman’s arrest in May new SIM cards were purchased to re-activate the number connected to the iPhone and the number of the drug-dealing burner phone.

Mr Evans said analysis found that in the time the iPhone number had been reactivated until Zaman’s arrest it co-located with the two burner phones a combined total of 496 times.

The court heard the prosecution did not accept the basis Zaman had entered his guilty pleas on so there was a trial of the issue.

While giving evidence Zaman told defence barrister Jonathan Turner that he had never dealt drugs and the burner phones that were found during his second arrest were his dealer’s - one for class A drugs and one for cannabis.

He declined to name the man but said he lived around 15 doors away from him.

Zaman later refused to name his dealer when requested to do so by Judge Simon Newell, but later agreed when Mr Turner suggested that the defendant could have a conversation with a police officer away from court.

Mr Evans said the man named by Zaman had been arrested the previous day in possession of a substantial amount of drugs.

Concluding that Zaman was a street-dealer, Judge Newell rejected his basis of plea, saying it was implausible that the dealer would trust the defendant with his drugs in July after he had lost his criminal property to the police in May.

Mr Turner said his client’s best mitigation was his guilty pleas and the fact he was only 18 at the time of the offence.

He added: “The defendant lives with his parents. They are in court and supportive of him.

“His father suffers with difficulties and in the absence of this defendant and his ability to support his family as a whole that is having an affect on them and causing their lives to be less pleasant than they should be.”

Zaman was sentenced to 48 months in a young offenders’ institution.