Sobbing drug dealer arrested at Leeds home released after plea change

Mohammedi Zhykar, who was in pre-trial detention, broke down in tears and pleaded for release when told he would have to remain in jail until a trial date could be set.

Presiding over the case at Leeds Crown Court, Judge Christopher Batty then told him that if he changed his guilty plea he would receive a suspended sentence and be released immediately, which he agreed after a brief discussion with his lawyer, Benjamin Bell.

Prosecutor Jade Edwards told the court that police searched an address in Florence Grove in Harehills on the afternoon of December 1, 2018 and found Zhykar, 17, crouching by the kitchen sink.

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Florence Grove’s home in Harehills was raided by officers.

Under the sink they found 122 small sealed bags filled with cannabis, two other bags in the living room, along with £845 in cash and three mobile phones.

The bags of drugs, worth a total of around £1,250, contained 11 fingerprints matching Zhykar.

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He made no comment during the interview and did not respond to police custody after being released pending investigations. A co-accused also fled and has still not been found.

Zhykar, whose last address was Stanifield Lane, of Leyland, Lancashire, was eventually arrested again and remanded in custody.

He continued to deny a drug trafficking charge, saying he was only there to buy cannabis and that he went through the bags, explaining why his fingerprints were left there.

Judge Batty then said he should stand trial and denied him bail due to his flight risk, which triggered his emotional outburst.

After a short break in the proceedings, the 21-year-old opted to change his plea but no mitigation, other than his young age at the time of the offense, was offered by Mr Bell.

He was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 12 months and ordered to perform 175 hours of unpaid work.

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Edward L. Robinett