Dealer had 53 bags of cannabis down trousers

South Wales Echo - - NEWS -

A MAN was caught by po­lice in Cardiff with a knife in his sock and more than 50 bags of cannabis down his trousers.

Nico Maughan, 21, told of­fi­cers he was deal­ing the Class B drug to make enough money to buy food af­ter los­ing his job in a call cen­tre.

Speak­ing at Cardiff Crown Court, de­fence bar­ris­ter Karl Wil­liams ac­knowl­edged his client was a “heavy user” of cannabis.

The court heard Maughan was stopped by a po­lice of­fi­cer on Rail­way Street in Splott on De­cem­ber 1 last year.

Pros­e­cu­tor John War­ren said the of­fi­cer searched him in con­nec­tion with a se­ries of thefts from cars, al­though it turned out there was no ev­i­dence he was in­volved.

The of­fi­cer found a zi­plock bag con­tain­ing a small amount of cannabis and a Stan­ley knife in the de­fen­dant’s sock, along with £100 cash – all in £5 and £10 notes.

Maughan was taken to Cardiff Bay Po­lice Station, where he was searched more thor­oughly, and of­fi­cers found one car­rier bag down his trousers, plus another in his jacket.

Po­lice found a to­tal of 53 bags of cannabis, es­ti­mated to be worth about £530.

The de­fen­dant ad­mit­ted he had two ounces of cannabis and said he had been sup­ply­ing “ev­ery­where” for “a cou­ple of months”.

He told of­fi­cers he had not eaten for the past two days and was sell­ing the cannabis to make enough money to buy food.

Po­lice seized his phone and Maughan ac­cepted they would find text mes­sages re­lat­ing to drug sup­ply.

He claimed he car­ried the knife for his own pro­tec­tion, telling of­fi­cers: “I thought it was OK as long as the blade wasn’t show­ing.”

The de­fen­dant stated the cash did not re­late to drug sup­ply, he “got it off a mate” and was plan­ning to spend it on food.

Maughan, of An­der­son Place, Adams­down, Cardiff, ad­mit­ted pos­sess­ing a knife in a pub­lic place, pos­ses­sion with in­tent to sup­ply cannabis and sup­ply­ing cannabis.

Mr Wil­liams stressed his client had no pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions and was “frank” in his po­lice in­ter­view.

He told the court Maughan had lost his call cen­tre job and was not able to claim ben­e­fits.

Judge Stephen Hop­kins QC made an or­der for the knife and drugs to be de­stroyed.

Al­though there was no for­mal val­u­a­tion from po­lice, the judge cal­cu­lated he would have sold “thou­sands and thou­sands of pounds” worth of cannabis dur­ing the three-month pe­riod.

The judge said: “Pub­lic in­ter­est de­mands that I send you straight to prison.”

Maughan was jailed for 14 months.

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