Barry man jailed after £40k drugs bust
4:30pm Wednesday 28th August 2013 in News
A BARRY man found with up to £40,000-worth of cocaine has been jailed for more than two years.
Police officers searching a house at The Gables in Dinas Powys found a total of 297grams of cocaine, of a value between £30,000 and £40,000, along with £2,580 in cash.
Ashley Woodfield-Sergent, 27, from Barry, along with James Gerrard, 25, from Dinas Powys, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine with intent to supply at Newport Crown Court on Tuesday, August 27.
They were both originally sentenced to five years each, but had their sentences halved due to their early guilty pleas, mitigation and previous good character.
His Honour Judge Patrick Curran QC said it was “very sad” to see the two defendants awaiting sentencing as it was their first experience of the criminal justice system.
“In each of your cases you have no previous convictions, evidence of good character and each of you had personal difficulties in your lives,” he said.
“The evidence of the amounts of drugs itself and other paraphernalia goes considerably beyond the supply to friends and associates, the basis of which frequently come before this court,” he said.
Gareth James, prosecuting, told the court that on December 21 last year police officers went to a house at The Gables, in Dinas Powys, and found a total of 297grams of cocaine and a mobile phone receiving text messages “related to the supply of drugs”.
The purity of the drugs was between 12 to 15 per cent, with an estimated valuation of between £30,000 and £40,000.
They also found £2,580 in cash in the house, and £170 in James Gerrard’s car.
Ashley Woodfield-Sergent was arrested as he was in the property at the time, lying on the sofa, and James Gerrard was arrested shortly afterwards when he turned up at the property.
“Whilst the police were dealing with the search at this address another individual arrived who said that he had come there to purchase drugs,” said Mr James.
He added that from the mobile phone there was “a number of text messages indicating that requests were being made for the supply of drugs” and that Gerrard and Woodfield-Sergent were “jointly dealing to users of drugs on a street level.”
Adam Sharpe, in mitigation for Ashley Woodfield-Sergent, said that he had “numerous good character references from friends, family members and employers.”
He added that after he lost his job he became unemployed and it had “a profound impact on his self esteem” and “he spiralled out of control in a self-destructive pattern.”
Stephen Clarke, in mitigation for James Gerrard, said that he had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and had said in a written submission: “It’s my own fault and I have got to put up with it and I will learn from it in years to come.”
He added: “He accepts he is fully to blame and doesn’t blame anyone else.”
He added that he was of good character and had no previous convictions.