Police suspected City Road cyclist was a drugs runner – even though he wasn’t

Cardiff Magistrates Court

A GRANGETOWN man was found with over £200 worth of drugs when police stopped him on a Roath street because they suspected he was a drugs runner, a court heard.

Mohammed Ahmed, 28, was stopped on The Parade, Roath, by patrolling police officers. When they searched him, he was found with 1.326 grams of ketamine and 3.092 grams of cocaine. Despite their suspicions, Cardiff Magistrates Court heard “there is no evidence to support this”.

The drugs found on Mr Ahmed, who lives at Avoca Place, Grangetown, were worth between £220 and £350, prosecutor Sophie Pennifold told the court. When they searched his home after the arrest, they found spoons with burn marks on them and tinfoil – indicative of drug use.

His defence solicitor Sarah Grace explained that Mr Ahmed, who came to Wales from Iraq in 2018, is currently “awaiting approval from the Home Office”. She added this has left him in a “difficult situation”, which “manifested in drug use”.

On January 10, 2022, officers were conducting patrols on City Road when they saw Mr Ahmed on a push bike, cycling in the opposite direction to them, Ms Pennifold said.

Their attention was drawn to him as he was cycling while on his phone and they suspected he may be a drug runner.

They followed him to Longcross Street where they spotted him in the front garden of a house, but as the street was one-way they had to “loop back around”, she added. When they returned to the house he was gone. They later found him on The Parade, sat on a wall with his bike next to him.

They detained, handcuffed, and searched Mr Ahmed. One of his hands was in a fist, but the officers could see a clear plastic bag poking out from between his fingers. Upon opening his hand, they found “what they suspected to be cocaine”, said Ms Pennifold.

There was a further six grip-sealed bags containing white powder and a further two containing crystals. They also found £90 in cash.

Ms Grace said: “This is the first time he found himself in the criminal justice system, both here and in his country of birth.”

She added: “It has taken 10 months for this to come to court. Mr Ahmed does not take drugs anymore. Furthermore, he has been offence-free since his arrest.

“Mr Ahmed wanted me to communicate his regret of having to come before this court.”

Ahmed pleaded guilty to one charge of possessing a class A drug and one charge of possessing a class B drug.

Passing down Mr Ahmed’s sentence, chairman of the magistrates’ bench Nihan Ramadan said they took into consideration Mr Ahmed’s guilty plea, his previously clean record, and the quantity of drugs, which Ms Grace described as “not significant”.

Mr Ahmed was fined £80 for possession of ketamine, and £120 for possession of cocaine. On top of this, Mr Ahmed will pay a £34 surcharge and £85 in prosecution charges.