Taxi Boss turned to Drug Dealing to repay Debt

A taxi boss from Worcester turned to drug dealing in the city shortly after setting up his business in order to pay off his debt.

Taxi Boss turned to Drug Dealing to repay Debt f

he had ended up "borrowing money from the wrong people".

Choudary Hussain, aged 37, of Worcester, was jailed for two years and four months for dealing drugs. The taxi boss was caught with cocaine and cash in the city’s Barbourne area.

Hussain had helped set up the Woober taxi service in Worcester.

He was discovered with 75g of cocaine with a street value of between £3,000 and £7,500. He was also found with £510 in cash on him while a further £119 was recovered from his Mercedes.

Tariq Shakoor, prosecuting, said police had received a “tip-off” about a suspicious vehicle parked in Barbourne and decided to “keep an eye on it” in April 2018.

Hussain was confronted by police and ran away but he was detained and found with the sets of keys to a Mercedes and VW Golf which contained the drugs.

Phones were also recovered, one of which contained “drug dealing text messages” and suggested he had been dealing for about two months.

Hussain maintained his denial and submitted a prepared statement.

He pleaded not guilty in July 2019 before changing his plea to guilty on March 5, 2020.

The taxi boss had previous convictions, one of which led to a 10-year prison sentence. None were for drug offences.

Martin Liddiard, defending, said Hussain had a letter written on his behalf by the former mayor of Worcester, Councillor Jabba Riaz, which was read by the judge.

Mr Liddiard said Hussain’s father had suffered a heart attack two days before the court hearing and that he was supported by his brother-in-law.

Hussain had established Woober, a firm which had taken NHS staff to work during the Coronavirus pandemic.

However, he had ended up “borrowing money from the wrong people”.

Mr Liddiard said other people worked for the company and, while he could not say the company would fail if Hussain was not there to run it, he was the only person who was “available 24 hours a day”.

Character references praised his “good character” and said he operated “with integrity”.

Judge James Burbidge QC told the taxi boss:

“It destroys people’s lives and destroys communities. You were doing this solely for money.”

“Because you had borrowed to start the business, there was pressure placed upon you to repay that. That is so often how these crimes engage people.”

The judge weighed this against the fact that Hussain had done charitable work, had a reference from a former mayor of Worcester and had created a “viable, honest business”.

He accepted that there had been a delay to the case and the charging process took “some considerable time” because police had to look into evidence, including mobile phones.

However, he also said the reason for this delay was Hussain “lying to the court at the plea and trial preparation hearing as well as in interview to police”.

Hussain was jailed for two years and four months

A proceeds of crime application was also drawn up in which the defendant must provide a statement of his means and assets by July 22, 2020.

The case was listed for a directions hearing on October 7, 2020.

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”