Judge gives second chance to drug dealer caught with heroin and cocaine

Posted On 14 May 2022 at 3:22 am

A restaurant worker has been spared a spell in prison for having drugs in Brighton with intent to supply.

Mohamed Ahmed Sulieman, 23, was caught with another man, Jesutomisin Ifeoluwa, a fellow Londoner who was jailed for seven years for his more significant role in the drug dealing operation.

They were arrested along with Kieran Spiteri, 37, of Seafield Road, Hove, whose home was being “cuckooed” – taken over by Ifeoluwa – and Spiteri was given a suspended prison sentence just before Christmas.

Sulieman, of Blaker Court, Fairlawn, Greenwich, London, pleaded guilty to two drugs charges after his arrest in February 2020.

He admitted having 87 grams of crack cocaine and 403 grams of diamorphine or heroin as well as criminal proceeds – a total of £85 cash.

Sulieman was given a suspended prison sentence by Judge Stephen Mooney at Lewes Crown Court on Thursday afternoon (12 May) after barrister Houzla Rawat spoke in mitigation.

She said that he was young – 20 at the time of the offences – and of previous good character. And he had stayed out of trouble since his arrest.

There was, she said, a realistic prospect of rehabilitation whereas a prison sentence risked pushing him into the arms of more seasoned criminals.

Sulieman was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for 18 months, and up to 30 days of rehabilitation activity.

Judge Mooney also ordered him to carry out 250 days of unpaid work and said: “You came within a whisker of going to prison and if you do anything like this again you will go to prison.

“You really don’t want that to happen, do you? So behave yourself!”

Mohamed Suleiman

The judge said: “I don’t underestimate the consequences of drug dealing. It wreaks havoc on our society (but) locking you up with others more sophisticated than you could do more harm than good.”

The judge said that he was obliged to consider whether Sulieman’s sentence should suspended or served immediately, adding: “There is a substantial hope that you can be rehabilitated.”

Sulieman had been abroad – in Somalia – for four years before he came back to London then ended up in Brighton with Ifeoluwa.

Miss Rawat said: “He lives with his mother and six siblings. His family are devastated at the turn of events.”

She said that his arrest “did have a profound influence on him” and that he now worked in his uncle’s restaurant and hoped to go to university.

The judge ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the drugs and the related paraphernalia including a phone.

Jesutomisin Ifeoluwa

After Judge Mooney jailed Ifeoluwa last August, investigating officer Rose Horan said: “Jesutomisin Ifeoluwa exploited vulnerable members of the community for his own gain and brought heroin and crack cocaine into our city with no regard for the damage these drugs cause.

“County lines drug dealing and cuckooing take advantage of the most vulnerable members of our society, invariably involving violence and exploitation, and this conviction sends a strong message that perpetrators will be punished.”

  1. Hove Guy Reply

    The judge ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the drugs and the related paraphernalia including a phone.
    The same phone he has got in his hand while leaving the court?

    • Frank le Duc Reply

      No. The confiscated phone was believed to have been a “county line” phone with the names and numbers of customers on it and dealing-related messages.

  2. sd Reply

    I imagine the cost of living crisis will lead to more and more young people finding a path along the county lines…it must feel really bleak to be a young person now. Post lockdown, war, economic crisis (while the rich get richer).

    We need to offer an attractive alternative.

    Working for minimum wage and having to claim tax credits (if you are lucky?) while home sharing with multiple others is not in the least bit aspirational for our young people.

    • StarDasher Reply

      What a depressing comment.
      In 2020 a ‘record 23.3% of UK 18-year-olds from low participation neighbourhoods’ went to university – up from 14% in 2011.
      In total over 50% of young people now go to university.
      It seems young people have greater aspirations than you give them credit for.

    • Getreal Reply

      Boo hoo! You want 20 year olds on 100k a year? Everyone starts low and you work your way up, not take over someones home and sling crack.

      • Steve Reply

        Come to my town and sell gear to my kids…..and you will find yourself in a whole pickle of unfortunates, the cps, the police and the government need to start dealing with this!!!!

    • Louise H Reply

      No one in Brighton needs to work for minimum wage. Even cleaners can easily earn £14 an hour. He also has two arms and two legs and as for the cost of living crisis people can easily get trained up with new skills and make money. Carpenters earn £25 an hour in the City and it is really hard getting one with availability. Its bleak being a youngster in Ukraine. In the UK its only bleak if you don;t choose to take the many easy opportunities out there.

  3. sd Reply

    Do you think a University education leads to financial security?

  4. Julian Hughes Reply

    I can’t believe you can be caught with nearly half a kilo of class a drugs and not be jailed. These are not small quantities and they are drugs with lethal and life changing potential. What the hell do you have to do to get jailed? Why would anyone fear being arrested and convicted?

    • Jpa Reply

      He is very lucky indeed – I’ve never heard of anyone getting off Scott free for drug dealing like that before- I bet the judge does not live in Brighton

  5. Sd Reply

    ‘You want 20 year olds on 100k a year?’

    If that’s what it costs to be able to have a standard of living that means they can eat and have a roof over their heads (without having to flat share) as a ‘reward’ for working.

    You do realise that young people, particularly males, are groomed to sell drugs and take part in criminality from a young age, right?

    Grooming is a process, it starts early. It doesn’t usually happen to children and young people who have stable, financially secure lives.

    You surely wouldn’t blame a young person who has been groomed into sexual abuse.

    You need to understand that children are groomed into drug selling to make bank for the criminal adults further up the county line.

    Continue in your belief that working your way up from the bottom is the way forward for all…it should be, of course. Though, it’s just not the reality for everyone.

    Living wage? Who could live on that? Not many.

    Growing up in poverty, as many of our young people are, will simply lead to more risky ways for them to make money.

    I didn’t grow up in an era of food banks for working people. Our young people are.

    But there’s no excuse because everyone can go to uni and earn 100k!? That’s a really strange and out of touch approach to current affairs.

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