A DRUG dealer is beginning a 33 month prison sentence after pleading guilty to an offence — on condition that charges were dropped against his brother.

Bolton Crown Court heard that Junaid Ali and his brother Arfan Ali were stopped by police whilst driving a VW Golf around Bolton in the early hours of September 11 2016. Arfan Ali, aged 33, was driving and the vehicle smelled strongly of cannabis.

Nicola Carroll, prosecuting, told how Junaid Ali, aged 22, stepped out of the car and police found £489 on him, which he claimed had been for shopping.

Officers also found, protruding from the dashboard above the passenger footwell, eight snap bags containing three grams of cocaine worth £160.

Police also found two mobile phones on him and cannabis down his shorts. His brother, Arfan, had a bag containing three mobile phones and £455 and a third man, in the rear of the car, had two mobile phones on him.

Police searched the bedroom the brothers share at the Hilden Street, Bolton, home where they live with their parents.

Under a mattress they found £3,200 in bundles of notes, a further £190 in a coat pocket, empty snap bags, Viagra-type tablets, packets of legal highs and notebook containing mobile phone numbers.

The brothers were due to face trial for possessing cocaine with intent to supply, but the Judge Richard Gioserano was told that Junaid Ali had offered to plead guilty so long as the prosecution offered no evidence against his brother.

Arfan Ali has a previous conviction for a similar offence and would have faced a lengthy jail term if convicted.

The Crown Prosecution Service agreed to Junaid Ali's offer and Arfan hugged his brother before being ordered out of the dock after he was formally found not guilty.

David Toal, defending, told the court: "He [Junaid Ali] has taken full responsibility and that has resulted in there being no trial."

At the time of the offence Junaid Ali was subject to a suspended prison sentence for possessing cannabis with intent to supply, but Mr Toal said he now no longer takes class A drugs and has found work in a pizza shop.

Judge Gioserano said he could not sentence Junaid Ali for being part of group which sold cocaine as he had only been charged with the lesser offence. "It would be wrong of me to go behind the criminal offence to which you have pleaded guilty," the judge told Ali. A proceeds of crime hearing is due to take place on September 14.