Jail time, community order handed to cannabis pair

Michael Samual  / © South Wales Police

Michael Samual / © South Wales Police

A man has been jailed for possession with the intent to supply cannabis – some of which was hidden in his underwear.

Michael Samuel, 28, of Newport Road in Caldicot – who was also in possession of cocaine – was sentenced to four years and eight months by Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke at Cardiff Crown Court. 

He was pulled over by police on Cardiff Road in Barry last July after he was seen to be not wearing a seatbelt.

Officers detected a strong smell of cannabis and searched him and his passenger, co-defendant Antonia Barker. 

Whilst nothing was found on either person, officers found a satchel under the driver’s seat containing £665 in cash, three bags of cocaine, empty “deal bags”, digital weighing scales and other items – he said “it isn’t mine” and that the cash was savings.

Travelling to Bridgend Police Station, officers could still smell a strong scent of cannabis coming from Samuel. He told them it was “in his pants”, before he was strip-searched and was found to be carrying cannabis and six bags of cocaine.

The court heard how he was a plumber’s mate, helps his brother on the weekend and also helps his sister deliver fast food.

His defence barrister, Gareth Morley, said: “The amounts involved are not huge, and he’s kept out of trouble.”

Before passing her sentence on Samuel, the judge said: “The high purity of the cocaine was an aggravating factor.”

Barker, 25, of Warwick Way in Barry was later arrested, telling officers: “I knew you were coming.” Her phone – which was registered to Samuel – was seized and was found to contain messages related to drug dealing. She denied knowledge of the messages and being involved.

Her defence barrister, Christopher Rees, said her involvement “does not cross custody threshold” as she had a “lesser role”.

She was handed a 24-month community order, with 15 days of rehabilitation activity, and ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work, after eventually admitting she was concerned in the supply of a Class B drug.

In total, the cannabis was valued around £40 and the cocaine – which has a purity of around 83% - was valued around £900.

The judge ordered the drugs and associated items to be destroyed.

What! Stores developing abandoned St Mellons Kwik Save site

An abandoned building in St Mellons is being given a new lease of life thanks to the retailer What! Stores.

Building work has begun on the former Kwik Save and Hypervalue site, which has been left abandoned since 2007.

In recent weeks the building has been secured and cleared, with fencing and scaffolding also put in place.

Earlier this year one local resident said that the lack of work on the site - which is shared with Indian restaurant Shamrat, Boots and Willowbrook Surgery - was “an absolute disgrace”.

Speaking to me this week, a spokesperson from What! Stores said: “The site is owned by What! Stores and we are planning on opening one of our stores in the St Mellons location.

“The Newport Road store is closing down and in effect relocating to the old Kwik Save location.”

During the 11 years the Kwik Save site has been abandoned it has attracted fly-tipping, graffiti and other forms of anti-social behaviour. South Wales Fire & Rescue also attended twice within the space of a week in 2016, after fires were deliberately started inside the building.

Councillor Michael Michael, said: “I, and the other Trowbridge and St Mellons councillors welcome the work being done on the former Kwik Save store as it’s long been an eyesore.

“We also welcome the development of a new What! store in St Mellons and the possibility of jobs.”

Local residents campaigned hard for progress to be made, causing Cardiff Council to re-think their original plans for more housing back in 2014 - at a meeting that same year the site’s owner said that his consultants were looking at retail opportunities for development.

What! Stores have not given a timeframe for the store to be complete, only suggesting that their Newport Road branch will close in the “near future”.

If you live in the local area feel free to get in touch with your thoughts.

Prison, driving ban for 21-year-old cannabis seller

Cardiff Crown Court  / © Jordan Howell

Cardiff Crown Court / © Jordan Howell

A man has been jailed for 13 months after pleading guilty to possession with the intent to supply cannabis.

Billy Wait, 21, of Prince Street in Pontypool was sentenced by judge Mr Recorder David Harris at Cardiff Crown Court.

He was also given a driving ban of 18 months and ordered to pay £140 in costs.

Wait was stopped by police in the early hours of April 15th after they became aware that he was driving without insurance. He was followed to the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport where his car was searched.

Thirteen wraps of cannabis were found under the driver’s seat, with a street value of £130 - they also found £400.

Prosecuting barrister James Evans said: “It’s clear that he has been selling cannabis.”

Defending, Stephen Thomas, asked the judge to give credit for his guilty plea on the day, adding that there were “no aggravating factors, weapons, or targeting of vulnerable people” in the case and that the supply was “quite clearly to associates and friends”.

The sentencing comes after at least three other convictions for intending to supply cannabis, one resulting in a suspended sentence and another a 20-week period in a Young Offenders Institution.