On March 14, last year, Atif Ali, pictured, of Alan Place, Southcote, was spotted on CCTV talking to a known drug user.
Two officers stopped Ali in Hosier Street and discovered he had 20 wraps of drugs which were later identified as heroin.
The 21-year-old was sentenced at Reading Crown Court last month after admitting one count of possession with intent to supply at the same court on November 6.
Anthony Eskander, prosecuting, said the 1.58 grammes of heroin had a street value of around £200.
The court heard Ali had started dealing heroin in order to pay off his own drug debts and fund his habit. He first used crack cocaine in November 2013 which quickly developed into a daily habit up until his arrest this year.
Alan Walker, defending, said Ali’s addiction went unnoticed by his family due to his mum having to fly back and forth to Lahore in Pakistan to care for her mother. He said: “As soon as they were aware they effectively didn’t let him out of their sight.”
Mr Walker said Ali’s “loving and supportive” family had helped him get clean of drugs.
Since his arrest Ali has focused on work and had managed to secure a two-year apprenticeship with a heating and gas firm.
However speaking before sentencing Judge Ian Grainger said he could not ignore the fact this was Ali’s second serious drug offence.
He continued: “November 18, 2011 for conspiracy to supply heroin you were sent to a young offender’s institution for two years. You clearly have not learnt the lesson.”
Judge Grainger credited Ali for the positive steps he has taken to turn his life around but said there was no question of suspending the sentence.
Ali was jailed for two years and six months.