A PAINTER and decorator who was caught with cocaine, heroin and cannabis months after being released from prison is starting another spell inside.

Burnley Crown Court heard how father-of-five Abid Ashraf was found with the drugs in his car just months after he was released on licence after serving half of a five-year jail term for possessing a stun gun and nearly £60,000 of amphetamine and cannabis.

Prosecuting Ashraf’s latest crime, Stephen Parker said shortly before 1am on November 30 officers saw the defendant’s Volkswagen car in Nelson and had intelligence to suggest it was involved in drug-dealing.

Ashraf pulled over when requested. In the glove box officers found a plastic tub 3.5 grams of cocaine with an 80 per cent purity. Mr Parker said those drugs had a street value of £280.

Officers also found 0.79 grams of heroin and some cannabis, which the prosecution accepted were both for Ashraf’s personal use. Officers also found £430 cash.

Ashraf, 41, of Barkerhouse Road, Nelson, pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine with intent to supply, possessing heroin and possessing cannabis.

Defending, Mark Stuart said his client, who was caring for his sick mother, was initially able to fund his addiction through his own income.

However he said he soon found drugs being ‘laid on for him’ and he resorted to selling drugs to clear the debt to his dealer.

Mr Stuart said: “This defendant has been addicted to Class A drugs for some time. That included a time when he was involved in the supply of Class B drugs.

"He had never before got involved in the sale of Class A drugs.

"When he came out of custody on this occasion he was determined not to go back and become involved in the supply of drugs whatsoever.

"His difficulty is while it’s easy to say I am not an addict, within weeks of coming out he found himself taking drugs again.”

Sentencing Ashraf to 40 months imprisonment, Judge Sara Dodd said: “You know that drug-dealing is a serious offence.

"You went to prison for five years for your involvement over Class B drugs.”