A drug dealer came onto detectives’ radar after he approached a police officer in a nightclub and offered him money in exchange for information about his colleagues, a court heard.

Charges of perverting the course of justice against Lewis Abubakar, who was said to have peddled heroin and cocaine in part so he didn’t ‘sponge’ off his rich girlfriend, were later dropped after it became clear the PC’s account did not match CCTV from the nightclub.

But the alleged nightclub encounter prompted cops to scour Banbury man Abubakar’s bank accounts, uncovering quarter of a million pounds’ worth of unexplained payments between 2015 and 2019.

At later interviews, the 30-year-old spoke of living a lavish lifestyle – mentioning helicopter rides – but claimed the cash had all been earned legitimately, Oxford Crown Court was told.

The source of much of the cash was later unmasked as drug dealing, when Abubakar was caught in Sheep Street, Bicester town centre, with £2,000 worth of heroin and crack in his Audi A3, £510 cash and an iPhone detailing drug sales, stock levels and prices.

He did not go quietly, with police forced to spray him with CS gas during the arrest on April 14 this year.


Sheep Street, Bicester Picture: GOOGLE

Sheep Street, Bicester Picture: GOOGLE


Prosecutor Michael Roques said the heroin and crack cocaine had been divided into underweight 1/16th ounce deals – each worth around £100 and capable of being divided up further by street dealers to sell on to addicts.

Taken to Bicester police station after his arrest, Abubakar complained to the custody sergeant of coronavirus symptoms and pain from where the handcuffs had dug into wrists.

Two police officers drove him to the A&E at Horton General Hospital, Banbury. As he waited for treatment with his hands cuffed in front of him, he jumped up and sprinted out of the hospital. He cut the bail tag from his ankle and was on the run for 40 days before handing himself in to a police station in May.


File image of Horton General Hospital, Banbury Picture: OM

File image of Horton General Hospital, Banbury Picture: OM


Mitigating, Stephen Kamlish QC said his client had been working for a higher-up dealer when he was caught with the gangster’s iPhone in April.

Abubakar, who spoke of his remorse in a letter to the judge, had been addicted to drugs at the time. He had since got clean.

Of the £240,000 he admitted laundering through three bank accounts, he was sentenced on the basis that three-quarters of that sum - £180,000 – was cash from drug dealing and the rest was the proceeds of a sideline fencing stolen goods.

His wealthy girlfriend – not named in Tuesday’s court hearing - travelled the world working for her father, the boss of a pharmaceutical firm. Mr Kamlish said his client had dealt drugs in part because he ‘didn’t want to sponge off her’.


Lewis Abubakars mugshot Picture: THAMES VALLEY POLICE

Lewis Abubakar's mugshot Picture: THAMES VALLEY POLICE


Jailing him for five years and five months on Tuesday afternoon, Judge Michael Gledhill QC told Abubakar: “You are from a perfectly respectable background and apart from one court appearance for quite unrelated matters many years ago you are a man of good character and to see you stood in the dock of this court...is in my view completely non-understandable. I don’t understand how you have ever got involved in this at all.

“It is a tragedy from the point of view of your family and your friends and your partner, a well-respected businesswoman who has every reason to hold her head up high but has the shadow of your offending hanging over her as does your family.

“I have read the reference from your mother. It is shocking what you have done to people.”

Abubakar, formerly of Belchers Lane, Birmingham, pleaded guilty at earlier hearings to money laundering, possession with intent to supply class A drugs and possession of dirty cash.

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