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Crime

20 months for woman who kept drugs hidden in a hedge

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A NORTH Pembrokeshire woman would make trips to get drugs hidden in a hedge adjoining her property, and from a blue Jewson’s bag in her front garden, as part of a UK-wide drug running operation, Swansea Crown Court heard.

Leonie James, 33, admitted being involved in conspiracy to supply cannabis as part of the Pembrokeshire- Dorset drugs ring busted earlier this year during Operation Rookley.

The court heard on Friday (Dec 16) that James’ home in Precelly Crescent, Goodwick was put under police surveillance between July last year and January 2022.

Officers witnessed drugs being delivered by couriers to the home that James shared with ringleader Shaun Lucas. The court heard that James was present at the home ‘on many occasions when such supplies were taking place’.

The drugs were then stashed outside the house, in the front garden and in a hedge adjoining a neighbouring property.

James was seen making frequent trips from the house to these stashes with these trips coinciding with visitors coming to the house to buy drugs.

The court was then given details of occasions in September last year when James had either gone to the hedge of the Jewson’s bag within minutes of a visitor arriving at the house.

“The defendant was taking drugs from the stash and being concerned in the supply to other persons,” said Jim Davies, prosecuting, saying that she had acted as Lucas’ ‘assistant’.

James had also travelled to Merseyside with Lucas in February of this year on what was described as a ‘drugs related trip’.

Mr Davies stated that the known amount of cannabis involved was in the region of 40 kilogrammes.

Police had also seized £26,000 and £15,000 from two separate couriers involved in the operation.

James was arrested on March 14 this year and gave a no comment interview before pleading not guilty to conspiracy to supply both cannabis and cocaine.

On November 24 this year James changed her plea on the cannabis charge to guilty. The crown then offered no evidence on the cocaine charge and a formal not guilty verdict was recorded.

In James’ defence it was said that she had already spent nearly five months in custody and two months with an electronic curfew.

A probation report said that there was a significant prospect of rehabilitation and a low prospect of reoffending. She had one previous conviction for driving while under the influence of cannabis and an unrelated caution going back to 2012.

“She has her own difficulties and health problems that she is battling with,” said her barrister, adding that she was a mum of four young children.

He maintained that she had a ‘lesser role and a relatively limited function under the direction of those running the operation’ and that there was a ‘degree of naivety on her part’.

“It wouldn’t be right to say that there was no influence from those above in the chain, she was in a relationship with one of them,” he said.

Judge Her Honour Catherine Richards KC said that she would not send James back to prison as ‘it would be unjust on you and those who depend on you’.

“You supported your partner in his enterprise,” she told James. “There is no evidence of an operational or controlling role. You helped supply customers and allowed drugs to be stored on your premises and handled cash when needed.

“You have spent a considerable time in prison already and time on curfew.”

Judge Richards handed down a 20-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months with a 25 day rehabilitation requirement.

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Crime

‘High risk’ offender discovered by police in Pembrokeshire

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A ‘HIGH RISK’ offender who failed to attend probation appointments in Cardiff following his release from prison has been discovered by police officers in Pembrokeshire.

Curtis Card was released from custody earlier this month following a 37-week custodial sentence imposed by the courts in August 2023 after he was convicted of spitting into a paramedic’s face in Cwmbran.

“He was being supervised by my colleagues in Cathays, Cardiff, but he hasn’t been keeping his appointments,” probation officer Julie Norman informed Haverfordwest magistrates this week.

“His whereabouts were unknown, so an arrest warrant was issued.

“The defendant is high risk but he’s been based here in Pembrokeshire.”

Card pleaded guilty to a charge of breaching his post sentence supervision order.  He was legally represented in court by Mr Liam Francis.

“He’s being extremely realistic about today’s hearing,” he said.

“He had attended his appointments when he was first released but there were issues with his accommodation, the lay-out of the address and the people who were living with him in the shared accommodation.

“He has had previous issues with drugs, and he didn’t feel it was appropriate for him to be living there as it was having a toll on his mental health.

“This is why he’s been in the Pembrokeshire area, but he knows that he has to comply with probation.”

Card was sentenced to seven days in custody.

“He hopes to use those seven days to reset himself, which will result in a different outcome when he is released,” added Mr Francis.

Card was ordered to pay £60 court costs.

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Crime

Ironman outing leads to ‘moment of madness’, court hears

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A TENBY Ironman outing had dire consequences for a Llanteg resident after he threw a full can of alcohol at his ex-partner’s back.

Kevin Lewis, 44, experienced what his solicitor this week described as ‘a moment of madness’ when his ex-partner stated she was going to spend the evening with her new partner.

“My client accepts that his actions were totally unacceptable,” solicitor Liam Francis told Haverfordwest magistrates this week.

“It was a moment of madness with the realisation that their relationship had truly come to an end.  He’d drunk too much alcohol and things got out of control.”

 The incident took place on Sunday, September 3, when Lewis and his ex-partner Samanatha Smith took their seven-year old child to the Ironman event in Tenby in an effort to retain what the probation service described as ‘a civil relationship’ for their child.

“They’d a room booked at thePremier Inn but their plans changed,” outlined Crown Prosecutor, Abigail Jackson.

“The complainant called her new partner and then walked up to the defendant and told him that she was going to stay with him [the new partner].

“She turned around and then she felt a can of alcohol hit her in the back.”

“My back was soaking,” stated Samantha Smith in a victim impact statement read out to the court.

“He then called me a s*** mum, a bitch and a c***.  I tried to persuade our daughter to come with me but he pushed me into the road.

“This has made me feel like a piece of s***.  It downgraded me and embarrassed me and this is not a good role model for our daughter to witness.”

Meanwhile the probation report stated that Lewis had consumed between nine and ten cans of alcohol during the day.

“He felt frustrated at the sudden change of plans, when his ex-partner said she was going to stay with her new partner,” commented the probation officer.  “He felt this was rubbing his nose in things, and making a mockery of it.

“He’s remorseful of his actions and is aware of the distress it’s caused his ex-partner and his daughter.”

This was endorsed by Lewis’ solicitor, Liam Francis.

“He drank too much alcohol and things got out of control but he now wants to put this incident behind him.”

Lewis, of Brookview, Llanteg, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault by beating.

He was sentenced to a 12-month community order during which he must carry out 20 rehabilitation requirement days.  He was also ordered to pay a total of £545.

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Crime

Public appeal following £5,000 theft from Boots in Haverfordwest

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DETECTIVES from Dyfed-Powys Police are investigating after a large number of products were reported as stolen from Boots in the Withybush Retail Park, Haverfordwest.

It is believed the theft took place at around 3.20pm on February 21.

Sun cream, hair thinning cream and skincare items were taken, with a total value of around £5,000.

Officers have carried out all possible enquiries, and are now asking for help in identifying the two people photographed, who might have information that could assist.

If you know these people, or believe you are pictured, please contact Dyfed-Powys Police:

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908

Please quote reference 24000184097

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