A TABLE tennis coach and footballer was handed a suspended jail sentence after he pleaded guilty to drug dealing a “considerable quantity” of cannabis.

Ashley Perry, aged 21, was caught with more than £3,000 of the drug in his Seat Ibiza car by police, prosecutor Eugene Egan said.

Cardiff Crown Court heard how the defendant had 491 grams of cannabis in the vehicle along with cash, scales, bags and a mobile phone.


Mr Egan said: “Police officers said there was a strong smell of cannabis coming from the car.”

The defendant was a man of previous good character with no previous convictions.

He pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis with intent to supply in Rhymney’s Maerdy Industrial Estate.

The offence was committed on May 27, 2018.

Jeffrey Jones, mitigating, said Perry was currently in full-time employment.

His barrister added: “He coaches table tennis in the Tredegar area and plays football for Rhymney.”

Judge Michael Fitton QC told the defendant he would be passing a suspended sentence.

He said to Perry that had the case come to court within a few months “as it should have”, the outcome might have been very different.

Judge Fitton added that the defendant had used the significant delay to his advantage to “sort his life out”.

He jailed Perry, of Heol y Twyn, Rhymney, for eight months, suspended for 12 months.

The defendant must also carry out 200 hours of unpaid work in the community and undertake a 15-day rehabilitation and activity requirement.

There was no order for costs, forfeiture and destruction of the drugs or a surcharge made pending the outcome of a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing due to take place in the new year.

Before Perry left the dock, Judge Fitton told him: “You are an intelligent and capable man and able to put this behind you.”