A COCAINE and cannabis dealer will have to serve a further 12 months behind bars after he was caught with a mobile phone in his prison cell.

Dale Bird, of Cwmbran, was jailed for six-and-a-half years in January 2018 for drug trafficking, Cardiff Crown Court heard.

While serving his sentence at Bridgend’s Parc Prison, the 29-year-old was caught red-handed when custody officers searched his cell, prosecutor Bethan Evans said.

Judge Michael Fitton QC was told how Bird, had looked “startled” when they entered and put up a struggle before the phone fell from his pocket.

Miss Evans said its SIM card had six telephone numbers belonging to the defendant’s family and friends and proved that he had texted his girlfriend.

He told interviewing detectives that the phone was not his and had borrowed it from a fellow inmate.

Bird, it was revealed, has 11 previous convictions for 15 offences, the majority of which were for drug-related crime.

The defendant had been in Parc Prison serving a sentence for supplying cocaine and cannabis.

He also admitted producing a class B drug in relation to a cannabis factory.

When Bird and a co-defendant were caught in a car, Miss Bird added, they found 10 grams of cocaine and more than £900 in cash.

The defendant, formerly of Porthmawr Road, Northville, admitted having a mobile phone in jail last October whilst a prisoner.

Sara Palmer, mitigating, said his client had pleaded guilty at the very first opportunity.

She told the judge the seized mobile was not internet compatible but a “basic” one on which only calls could be made and texts sent.

His lawyer said her client had run out of credit for his prison phone and had wanted to contact his girlfriend.

Ms Palmer added: “There is no allegation of any furtherance of crime.”

Judge Fitton told Bird he was an “experienced offender” who was serving a custodial sentence for “serious offences”.

He jailed him for 12 months in prison to run consecutively with his six-and-a-half year term.

Bird must also pay a victim surcharge upon his release and ordered that the mobile phone be confiscated.