A CONVICTED heroin trafficker ate the evidence against him – a bag of drugs – when it was placed in front of him by detectives in an interview room.

Denney Roberts, 40, had been arrested and taken to Newport Central police station for breaching his licence conditions after recently being released from prison.

And when officers found drugs on him in his cell, he decided to swallow them when the evidence was later presented before him.

Cardiff Crown Court heard how he “foolishly” devoured the unknown substances because he feared going back to prison – but he was heading back there anyway.


Roberts, of no fixed abode, Newport, was jailed for 40 months in 2017 after he admitted four counts of supplying heroin to undercover police officers.

Prosecutor Thomas Stanway said the defendant was picked up for the licence breach last September and was suspected of having taken drugs into his cell.

He told the court: “A number of tablets and a wrap of powder were removed from his left hand and the defendant was taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital.

“It was suspected he had had hidden the drugs in his (bottom). When he was taken back to the police station, he was interviewed in the presence of his solicitor.

“The drug exhibits were placed on the table. The defendant slammed his fists on the table, ripped open the exhibit bag and swallowed it whole.”

Roberts pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.

Mr Stanway said the defendant had 35 previous convictions for 118 offences.

Gareth Williams, mitigating, said: “It was a very foolish thing to do. He gave it no thought.

“It was worse for him since he had been charged with just possession of drugs which could have been dealt with at the magistrates’ court.

“The defendant was being recalled to prison anyway so it doesn’t make much sense.”

Mr Williams added: “He was homeless after being released from jail and had no money.

“He was staying at a friend’s property on a sofa. The defendant has a long-term heroin addiction.”

Judge Richard Twomlow told Roberts: “You grabbed the exhibit bag, ripped it open and swallowed the contents whole – including some of the plastic bag.

“This was a blatant attempt to pervert the course of justice by swallowing the evidence.

“You had been in possession of some sort of drug, but we don’t know what it was.”

He jailed the defendant for 12 months and told him he would have to pay a victim surcharge upon his release from prison.