Taxi driver jailed for dealing cocaine

Cocaine is a class A drug
Cocaine is a class A drug

A drug-dealing taxi driver was found with a stash of drugs and criminal cash in his cab, Preston Crown Court heard.

Ashed Patel’s activities were exposed when police flagged down his red Toyota Avensis in Chorley town centre on January 12.

The 39-year-old dad, of Railway Street, Chorley, has been jailed for two years and two months after pleading guilty to possessing cocaine and cannabis with intent to supply.

He also admitted a charge of acquiring criminal property, relating to £581 he had.

Prosecuting at Preston Crown Court, Joe Allman, said: “At 7.20pm Mr Ashed Patel was stopped driving a taxi in the centre of Chorley. He claimed he was working and he seemed nervous.

“The police conducted a search of the car and in a concealed pocket in the driver’s seat they discovered cannabis worth £30 and cocaine, and also in Mr Patel’s possession £450 cash. They also found electronic scales and snap bags.

“When Mr Patel was taken into custody a mobile phone was found on the ground of the custody area - it transpired it had been secreted there.

“There were numerous texts indicative of drug dealing from October 24 to the date of his arrest.”

Defending, Robin Kitchen said: “His guilty plea demonstrates he is genuinely remorseful for this offending.

“His parents are elderly and somewhat infirm. He plays a very important role in their lives and their care.

“There was no attempt by him to escape his responsibility or to minimise his role in what took place.

“It’s to his shame and regret that he allowed himself to become involved in this enterprise.”

He wiped away tears as Recorder Laurence McDonald said: “As you know and as I’m sure you’ll appreciate, drug dealing is serious because it involves the destruction of lives, not just the lives of users in this country but the lives of producers in other countries. It is people like you who deal drugs who cause this harm.

“I’m sorry that the consequences of your offending will be visited upon your family but that is the consequence of your punishment.”