A COCAINE dealer escaped going to jail after his case took 15 months to go to court and the judge heard the defendant had turned his life around during the long delay.

John Cox, aged 27, of Mount Road, St Cadoc’s, Pontypool, was handed a suspended prison sentence after he admitted trafficking the class A drug on September 1, 2018.

Prosecutor Lowri Patterson told Newport Crown Court how the defendant was caught by police after they arrested the man he had supplied the drugs to in Cwmbran.


A search of his house the next day uncovered 5.3 grammes of cocaine with a purity of 54 per cent.

She said that Cox had given out his account details to customers so that they could pay him using online banking.

The defendant pleaded guilty to supplying cocaine and the possession of cocaine with intent to supply.

Miss Paterson said Cox had one previous conviction for criminal damage following a road rage incident in March 2016 for which he received a conditional discharge.

The court was told it involved an accident he was involved in with his eight-month pregnant girlfriend and how he has smashed the window of the other driver’s car by punching it.

Stephen Thomas, mitigating, said there had been a long delay in his client’s case coming to court and that he had to put that time to good use.

He told Judge Daniel Williams: “Since September 1, 2018, the defendant has completely turned his life around.

“He has gone back to work and is earning £300 to £400 a week and has settled down and is in a stable relationship.

“The defendant was a significant user of cocaine at the time.

“But he has moved on and hasn’t reoffended in any way. Sending him into custody would set him right back. This is a different young man.”

Judge Williams told Cox: “I am persuaded to suspend your sentence because of the substantial delay in this case coming to court and, more particularly, by the progress you have made in the 15 months since the commission of this offence."

The defendant was jailed for two years, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work in the community and pay a £140 victim surcharge.

Members of his family in the public gallery wept when they heard he was being spared an immediate custodial sentence.

As he was leaving the dock, the judge said: “Good luck Mr Cox.”

The defendant replied: “Thank you.”