A MAN who committed an assault and a theft while already serving a suspended sentence for heroin possession has been jailed for nine months.

Brendan Ness, 33, of Belvedere Crescent, Barry was given a suspended sentence in February after he was discovered with £1550 worth of heroin at his home.

Then - while serving in the community - on May 5 police were called to a disturbance between Ness and his girlfriend at Shakespeare Road, Barry.

The pair had been arguing about a quantity of Valium tablets when Ness assaulted her, causing cuts and bruising.

Five days later a Mercedes van was broken into on Kingsland Crescent, Barry and a mobile phone and laptop were stolen.

The laptop had a tracer installed and when police followed the signal it led them to an address on Holton Road.

Entering the property, officers discovered Ness - on police bail at the time - placing the laptop into a black bag, claiming he had recently bought it.

At Cardiff Crown Court on Friday, July 18 Ness's current employer spoke on his behalf saying that his work colleagues did not recognise the man who was being sentenced and explained that they were trying to help "get him away from Barry and the bad people that he knows."

He added that he believed Ness had "got himself into a bad situation that had got a bit out of control".

Judge Hale told Ness: "Your problem is that you haven't just broken the suspended sentence once but twice, the second time when you were on bail for the first."

Sentencing him to nine months in prison - six months for the drugs offence, two months for theft and one for assault - the Judge said: "You have have never been inside before.

"I hope it's going to be a severe lesson to you."