A GWENT man who was labelled a "street dealer" by a judge is beginning a three-year prison sentence for possessing a class A drug with intent to supply.

Gareth Brittan, 33, of Mountbatten Close, Ringland, Newport, pleaded guilty to the charge at a previous hearing at Cardiff Crown Court, though his version of the facts was rejected by the Recorder of Cardiff, Judge Eleri Rees.

Brittan had been found to be in possession of methadone belonging to someone else.

He also pleaded guilty to possessing extreme pornographic images, in the form of two videos found on his mobile phone when police examined it in connection with the drugs charge.

The sentencing hearing, again before Judge Rees, was told Brittan maintained that he had been sent the images by a fellow drug user and had been disgusted by them, but had not removed them from the phone.

He had had a drug problem for 10 years and an effort at rehabilitation in 2004 had proved partially successful, but he had relapsed, particularly in the past year.

Judge Rees told Brittan: "You are a street dealer, playing a signficant role in relation to that, but you are somewhere towards the bottom of the chain.

"Sadly, this is an all too common story. You first became a customer, then a dealer in order to sustain a habit."

In addition to the three-year sentence for the drug charge, Brittan was given a six-week sentence on the pornography charge, to run concurrently.

Judge Rees also ordered that the drugs and Brittan's mobile phone be destroyed.