The night manager of a hotel started dealing cannabis when money became tight after he was furloughed from work during the Covid pandemic, a court has heard.
Adam Powell started selling the drug in order to fund his own use of it, a drug he was taking as a “coping mechanism” for problems in his life.
Swansea Crown Court heard Powell’s dealing came to an end when he was spotted conducting a street deal by police, and followed home. When challenged by officers he handed over his stash of cannabis which he kept in a Mickey Mouse bag.
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Ieuan Rees, prosecuting, said the 34-year-old’s activities came to light on December 12 last year when police saw him talking to the occupants of car on Rectory Road in Neath town centre.
The court heard the officers suspected a drug deal was taking place, and as they moved in Powell ran off. The defendant was followed to his nearby home, and when challenged by police the Barry -born man produced a Mickey Mouse bag from the attic which contained around 200g of cannabis with a street value of up to £1,950. Officers also recovered further smaller quantities of the drug from other locations in the property along with £1,070 in cash. An examination of Powell’s phone showed messages relating to cannabis dealing.
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Adam Hugh Powell, of Windsor Road, Neath, had previously pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis with intent to supply and supplying cannabis to another when he appeared in the dock for sentencing. He has six previous convictions for eight offences, including one for wounding from 2008 for which he received a prison sentence.
Hywel Davies, for Powell, said the defendant used cannabis as a “coping mechanism” to help him manage difficult periods in his life. He said “idle hands and a lack of money” while furloughed from his job as a night manager at a hotel in Neath led his client to supplying cannabis in order to fund his own habit. The barrister said the defendant was concerned that the cash found at the property would be labelled as the proceeds from drug dealing when, in fact, it was a pot of money Powell had been saving up ready for Christmas.
Mr Davies added that the defendant acted as carer for his mother who has a range of health issues, and that in their pre-hearing conference Powell had been “extremely fearful and tearful”.
Giving Powell a one-third discount for his guilty pleas Recorder Aidan Eardley sentenced him to 14 months in prison suspended for 18 months, and ordered him to complete a rehabilitation course. He also ordered that the money found at the address be confiscated and given to South Wales Police to help in their work combating the drugs trade.
As Powell left the dock he told the recorder: “You will never see me again, your honour.”
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