Drug dealing lorry driver was making ‘significant profits’

A LORRY driver was running his own drug dealing operation capable of making “significant” profits. Christopher Clayden, 40, from Newport, was caught with 300g of cannabis which had a potential street value of more than GBP2,700, David Pinnell, prosecuting, said. Police raided the defendant’s home last year where they also found the “remnants of a cannabis production operation”, Cardiff Crown Court was told.

Officers recovered a black iPhone belonging to him which contained drug-relates messages including price lists offering the class B drug for sale in one ounce deals for GBP175. MORE NEWS: Man threatened to kill ex-girlfriend after turning up at her house drunk Although Clayden, of Gaer Vale, initially denied being a supplier he later pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

Mr Pinnell said the defendant had nine previous convictions for 13 offences. They included those for dishonesty, violence, drink driving and driving while disqualified and he had been in prison before. There were no convictions for any drug offences.

Gareth Williams, mitigating, said his client was a hard-working father-of-two who was a HGV driver. His barrister added: “He cares very much for his family.” The judge, Recorder Paul Hobson, told Clayden: “You are 40 years of age.

“In February of last year you were dealing cannabis, a substantial quantity of that drug, some 300g of it, being recovered from your address together with the remnants of a cannabis growing operation. “Your activities were clear from, among other things, the messages on your phone. “I will be sentencing you on the basis you were supplying to make money.

“Part of that may have been to pay off a debt, which isn’t unusual in cases like this, but this was your own dealing operation and therefore money-making operation “This was cannabis in significant quantities where a significant profit would have been available.” The judge said he would spare him an immediate prison because the defendant was working, the delay in the case coming before the court and there was the “prospect of rehabilitation”. Clayden was jailed for 12 months, suspended for 18 months.

He was ordered to carry out 140 hours of unpaid work, complete a 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement and pay GBP670 costs and a GBP156 surcharge.