A FORMER drug user with a crime-riddled past has been told he has one last chance to prove he can stop offending.
Mohammed Ali, of Derby Street, Burton, appeared at Burton Magistrates’ Court after cocaine was found in his car.
Ali was spared jail after magistrates were convinced by his efforts to turn his life around.
Ali, 33, was stopped by police while travelling with his family in Derby Road in August last year.
Officers discovered two wraps of cocaine, or 522 milligrammes, in his Vauxhall Astra.
Magistrates were told how Ali had also received a community order for common assault and criminal damage in November last year, but despite this took the decision to keep him out of prison, instead handing him a suspended sentence.
Ali, who was not represented in court, pleaded his case to the bench, insisting that he had made great progress and never had any intention of using the drugs found in his car.
He said he had been off drugs for two years.
Ali pleaded guilty to possession of a class A drug at his first appearance in court last week.
Due to the nature of the offence and Ali’s previous convictions, magistrates demanded a pre-sentence report to be prepared and had warned that Ali faced the prospect of a spell behind bars.
Addressing the bench, Ali, who was said to have a long history of convictions in relation to possession of class A and B drugs, said: “Give me an opportunity to do my courses which probation have recommended for me to do.
“They will help for the future and help keep me out of jail.
“Being in drug rehabilitation has helped me. I have been clean for two years. I’m on a positive road.”
Magistrates said they recognised that Ali had made progress in attempting to change his life, but told him should he return to court again they would not be so lenient.
Presiding magistrate Ann Hunt said: “Your previous history does you no favours and we have taken that into consideration in reaching our verdict.
“We find this to be serious and a custodial sentence has been considered.
“One plus point is that you are complying with the substance misuse program in which you achieved good results and that has swayed us.
“You know how close to custody you have come and if you return to this court you will face custody.”
Ali was given an eight week sentence, suspended for 18 months.