Cocaine found in garage

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A BUSINESSMAN who hid drugs in a garage was found out after a police raid on his girlfriend’s home.

Shoaib Haroon Akhtar admitted the 41.6grammes bag of cocaine was his after the home of his girlfriend at Field House Farm, off Stockton Road, Seaham, was searched on January 27.

Peterlee magistrates heard police arrested Akhtar after inquiries.

The 30-year-old, of Jubilee Food Store, Jubilee Avenue, Seaham, admitted possessing a Class A controlled drug.

Prosecutor Debra Jones said: “Through his solicitor he confirmed the drugs were his and for personal consumption.”

She said his girlfriend had no knowledge of the drugs being on her property.

“The cocaine, the police would say, is high in purity, but there’s no suggestion or evidence the drug was to be supplied to anybody else and Mr Akhtar’s account is accepted by the police.”

Richard Haswell, mitigating, said Akhtar was a man with “wealthy parents, wealthy girlfriend and he has successfully run businesses.”

He added: “He had a drug problem. Some people with an alcohol addiction might spend £5,000 on champagne, he spent £1,200 on cocaine for his personal use.”

Magistrates ordered him to pay a £750 fine, a £15 victim surcharge and £85 in costs.

He explained he had just sold a firm for £50,000, with a further £10,000 for goodwill and £10,000 for its stock, and earned £500 a week.