A FATHER-OF-TWO who was found to have packaged up a £57,000 half kilo bag of cocaine has been spared jail.

Preston Crown Court heard Tayyeb Zaman’s fingerprints were found on the outside of a quarter kilo bag of cocaine found hidden, along with another package, under the seat of a BMW 3 Series found abandoned in a Blackburn car park.

Prosecuting, Dave Clarke said that on September 26, 2018, police had information that the BMW was being used for drug dealing.

It was found in a car park at the junction of July Street and June Street in the Audley area of the town.

The officers were unable to force their way into the vehicle because of its anti-theft security system, so took it to a recovery garage in Clayton-le-Moors.

Mr Clarke said in the period before police searched the vehicle two people – neither of which were Zaman – visited the garage and used various pre-texts to try to access the vehicle.

Although the boot was empty, when police pulled the upholstery on the back seat they found an Asda carrier bag containing two bags of cocaine.

The half kilo bag, which had a purity of 89 per cent and street value of £57,028, was wrapped in cling film. Zaman’s fingerprints were found on the outside, middle and inner layers of that cling film.

Mr Clarke said Zaman’s prints were only found on the outside of knotted package containing the quarter kilo of cocaine, which had an 80 per cent purity and street value of £28,000. Zaman, 36, of Sussex Walk, Blackburn, admitted being concerned in the supply of cocaine.

The court heard he had been using hard drugs and built up a debt. In order to get more drugs from his regular dealer he agreed to wrap a package of cocaine. Zaman said that was on one occasion, while in the presence of and under the direction of his dealer.

Defending Zaman, Saleema Mahmood said her client performed voluntary work and was also a carer for his two parents. She said her client had a long-standing addiction to drugs and he took the chance to acquire some for free.

Ms Mahmood said: “This defendant would have had no knowledge of the weight of the drugs. He arrived at the place of his regular dealer hoping to obtain drugs for his use. He didn’t have the money to pay for those drugs and had a debt. He was told to help package those drugs.”

Judge David Potter gave Zaman a two-year sentence, suspended for 24 months, with 180 hours unpaid work and a six-month drug rehabilitation requirement.