Downfall of gambling addict who resorted to drug dealing to raise cash

Hawbash Ahmed appeared at Hull Crown Court -Credit:Hull Live
Hawbash Ahmed appeared at Hull Crown Court -Credit:Hull Live

A gambling addict turned to dealing cannabis in a desperate bid to raise some much-needed easy money – but he ended up aggressively assaulting two policemen during a nasty confrontation after he was caught.

Hawbash Ahmed angrily lashed out with a headbutt towards one constable and he spat at and kicked another officer after a stash of cannabis was discovered hidden in bushes near where he was "loitering" around, Hull Crown Court heard. Ahmed, 38, of Cambridge Street, off Anlaby Road, west Hull, admitted possessing cannabis with intent to supply between April 26 and July 14, 2020 and possessing cannabis with intent to supply and two offences of assaulting police as emergency workers on September 15, 2020.

Richard Butters, prosecuting, said that police searched a mid-terrace house in Freehold Street, off Spring Bank, Hull, where Ahmed and two other men were present on April 27, 2020. Ahmed was leaning against a fridge and a freezer in a rear kitchen.


It was searched and police found six bags of skunk cannabis, weighing 5.86g, with a street value of about £2,000. Further drugs, valued at £25, were found in a bag of onions on a work top. Multiple bags of cannabis, weighing 117g and valued at £1,645, were found in the lower drawer of a cooker.

More cannabis, valued at £25, was found as well as digital scales and dealer bags. A second drugs warrant was executed at the same house on July 9, 2020 and cannabis, valued at £120, was found in the kitchen. Only one of the other men was there on that occasion.

On July 13 of that year, a third search was made and all three men were there. Keys to a Honda car were found in a compartment of a carriage clock on the mantelpiece and, in that vehicle, cannabis, valued at £1,000, was found, including in the boot.

Ahmed's fingerprints were found on bags as well as on cannabis seized on the first occasion. No fingerprints were found of the other two men and this was thought to be why he pleaded guilty and the other two did not, said Mr Butters. The other two men had a trial but were cleared of charges against them.

On September 15, 2020, a policeman followed Ahmed, who was about 50 metres in front of him. "He shouted for the defendant to stop," said Mr Butters. "The defendant ran around the corner but, for him, unfortunately, it was a dead end and he was detained for a drugs search."

Ahmed was about to be sent on his way but another police officer pulled a bag out from bushes where Ahmed had first been loitering. "It contained a small amount of cannabis and the defendant's fingerprints were found on the black bag and the clear, empty dealer bags, all of which had his fingerprints," said Mr Butters.

"The defendant asked if he could have a cigarette but this was rejected by the police and he became aggressive and tensed up." Ahmed pushed a policeman off him and tried to headbutt him by throwing his head back, only just missing when the officer moved his head the right way.

Ahmed was pushed against a fence and a second officer threatened to Pava spray him. Ahmed was taken to the ground but he spat towards the second officer and, while still being aggressive, he kicked him on the leg.

Ahmed had a previous conviction for producing cannabis in March 2017 but he had no further offences since 2018. Cathy Kioko-Gilligan, mitigating, said that, in a pre-sentence report, Ahmed denied all knowledge of the offences after going into a "state of panic" but he later accepted that he was guilty.

"The defendant has turned his life around," said Miss Kioko-Gilligan. "He no longer has a gambling addiction. He has demonstrated that he can stay out of trouble.

"He is a low risk of reoffending. He knows he has done wrong. He knows he acted appallingly to those attending officers. He apologises for his offending."

Ahmed, whose family was from Kurdistan, had two daughters, one aged two years and the other aged two months.

Judge Richard Woolfall told Ahmed: "The police should not be treated this way. They are there to protect all of us. They put themselves in harm's way for the good of all of us.

"It must have unpleasant and worrying for both officers and they should not have to put up with that.

"You were involved in the supply of cannabis. Despite what you and others might think, cannabis is an illegal drug. A lot of people think it should not be. I wholeheartedly disagree with that.

"It creates all sorts of crime to fund their addictions. There's an increasing number of people who suffer from paranoia and have all sorts of mental health problems.

"Sometimes people in the grip of paranoia go on to commit all sorts of serious offences. It's a serious offence to be involved in the supply of cannabis."

Ahmed was given a suspended prison sentence of 15 months and seven days, with 20 days' rehabilitation.

"You have come very close to going to prison," said Judge Woolfall. "You have had your chance this time. You only get a chance once."