A JUDGE who ‘stuck his neck out’ in a bid to help a criminal who was transitioning gender has been forced to jail him after he was arrested for drug dealing.

Simran Khan was caught dealing drugs on the streets of Blackburn just months after Judge Simon Newell imposed a 22-month suspended prison sentence on him for reckless arson.

Part of the requirement of that was for Khan to stay in a residential home in Leeds, where the 24-year-old could get help with the struggles he was facing with his transition.

Just three months later he was spotted dealing drugs in Bank Top, Blackburn.

Addressing the defendant’s barrister at Preston Crown Court, Judge Newell said: “We worked very hard last summer, we had reports, made enquiries with specialist units and the like. You will appreciate part of that sentence on the last occasion was for a residence order.

“We had spoken to the manager of a home and they had a specialist room. It is very difficult for any residential unit to take people who have an arson conviction.

“I ordered him to stay there for three months from August. I do not know if he stayed there or didn’t stay there for the three months. If he did, he can only have been back in East Lancashire for a couple of weeks.

“The reason why we fixed this place in Leeds is because there is a specific transgender clinic which he was going to make use of to assist him with the difficulties he has.

“One has to say, to get 22 months suspended for quite a serious arson, I was really sticking my neck out. I’ll be blunt about it. To have it thrown back in your face within a few weeks doesn’t bode well for the future.”

The court heard how in November plain-clothed police saw a car registered to the defendant parked close to the Tesco Metro in Bank Top.

There were two people inside when a third person who ‘looked like a drug user’ approached the car and walked away. Another transaction appeared to take place there before the vehicle was driven to Mill Hill.

Another customer was seemingly served on Angela Street. At that point police officers approached the car where Khan was found in possession of a ‘disposable’ burner phone used by drug dealers.

He also had a man bag which contained £125 in cash and a bag of cannabis. A search of the car led to the discovery of 10 knotted bags of cocaine and several bags of heroin.

Defending, Oliver Jarvis said: “The defendant was in breach of a suspended sentence for arson when this offence was committed, that arson was part of a long history of attempted suicides.

“He had served eight months on remand prior to sentencing for that offence.

“This defendant has been struggling with issues of gender identity for some considerable time, attempting to move forward with gender transitioning.

“He has become isolated from his family because of this and he has suffered considerable abuse at Styal prison as a man being remanded into a woman’s prison.

“I would ask you to take that into account when considering the term.”

He added: “The defendant is extremely sorry for his offending in relation to these drugs offences but clearly has been had a very long time to think about that being back in Styal.

“If he receives a custodial sentence, which I accept he will. He will continue to find being in a female prison difficult due to him living as a male. Some prisoners have been horrible to him and bullied him. He tries to ignore arguments and spends most of his time in his cell.

“I have to accept that the package that was put in place on the last occasion, the defendant has lost through his own fault. That hadn’t really had time to bite before his offending took place.”

Judge sentenced Khan to three years and eight months in prison.