A THUG who assaulted a man he recruited to sell drugs has been jailed for five-and-a-half years.

Mohammad Mahaboob, 20, recruited the victim in September, promising to pay him £100 to £120 a day in return for selling drugs in Essex.

The victim, who took on the work to fund his own drugs habit, was not paid so took some of the drugs without telling Mahaboob.

After discovering his losses, Mahaboob ordered him to a flat in Romford where he punched and kicked him in the face for an hour.

On a second visit to the flat, the victim had a razor blade held against his throat and was made to lie on the floor, where he was then stamped on, punched and kicked.

On a third occasion, he was punched, cut in the face with a razor blade, and hit twice in the chest with an antique clothes iron.

The victim, who was aged in his 30s, contacted police in November and officers took him straight to hospital for treatment.

Officers from the Operation Raptor team arrested Mahaboob in the Melbourne area of Chelmsford on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of drugs.

Whilst in custody he was found to have drugs on him.

Further drugs were seized from his home in Turpin Avenue, Romford, along with other evidence of drug dealing.

About £3,000 in cash was also seized at another address linked to him in Stratford.

At Chelmsford Crown Court on January 4, Mahaboob admitted two counts of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs, two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and one count of possessing criminal property.

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He was sentenced on Tuesday, May 4, to a total of five-and-a-half years and made subject of a restraining order.

Detective Sergeant James Pamment said: “Mahaboob had fantasised about being a hardened criminal in the drug dealing world.

“He bragged about robbing other drug dealers and boasted about his violent behaviour whilst making large quantities of cash.

“The reality was that his lifestyle consisted of a lonely existence in a basic flat and he bullied and abused a vulnerable person.

“This case highlights the complexities behind how and why people become involved in drug dealing and the levels of violence they are exposed to.

“I hope Mahaboob will now reflect on his actions and whether this is the type of life he wants to lead in the future.

“We are committed to tackling drugs supply because it causes so much harm and we target criminals along the supply chain back to the source, even if they’re based outside of Essex.

“While enforcement plays an important role, it cannot solve the issues alone.

“That’s why we work with other organisations to address the reasons behind why people become involved in drugs and gangs, and do our best to work with them to steer them away from this lifestyle.

“If you suspect that a neighbour or friend is being exploited by drug dealers, or their home has been taken over to sell drugs, please tell us, or Crimestoppers, so we can help them.”

The drugs, drug paraphernalia, phones used for drug dealing, and weapons will be destroyed.

A proceeds of crime hearing will be held in due course.