Newport drug den heroin user must wait to hear of punishment
A HEROIN user who turned his Newport home into a drugs den had his sentencing delayed on Friday.
Brian Butler, 44, of Corporation Road, Newport, was due to be sentenced at Cardiff Crown Court on Friday after pleading guilty to possession of class A drugs, in his case heroin.
His Honour Judge Phillip Richards had delayed sentencing Butler after the initial hearing on August 24 while a pre-sentence report was carried out, including Butler’s suitability for a drugs rehabilitation programme.
David Martin, defending Butler, said his instruction from the defence in the August 26 case, Simon Goodman, suggested Judge Richards would consider a conditional discharge.
But Judge Richards disagreed, saying he had merely indicated that he wanted to consider all means of addressing Butler’s drug addiction without necessarily sending him to prison.
Judge Richards said he considered any possession of class A drugs, particularly heroin which he described as one of the most insidious drugs available, as a serious offence because of its direct and indirect effects on communities.
The judge said that in one of Butler’s comments to the probation service report into his drug use he had said he was no longer an addict, adding difficulty to how to pass sentence.
Judge Richards was so dissatisfied that he has now ordered a transcript of the August 24 hearing to be produced so he can see exactly what was said, and will delay his sentence until he has read it.
It meant Butler, who between the August 24 hearing and Friday’s had his rented flat in Sickert Close, Beechwood closed down, was released on conditional bail.
The same judge accepted a police bid to close down Butler’s home in a hearing at CaerphillyMagistrates’ court on September 19.
Police made the application on the basis that the Newport City Homes owned flat was being used for the use and supply of Class A drugs.
Judge Richards ordered the flat be closed for three months starting from 4pm on September 19.