A TEENAGE drug dealer walked free from court after it took more than two-and-a-half years for his case to be dealt with.

Kayhan Soran, 19, of Stow Hill, Newport, was 16 years old when an off-duty police officer arrested him in the city’s Rhosyn Close.

Roger Griffiths, prosecuting, said the defendant was caught with six bags of cannabis worth £55, cash and a mobile phone “which was frequently ringing”.

Soran pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis with intent to supply, the offence being committed on February 19, 2018.


Mr Griffiths was asked by the judge why there had been such a lengthy delay.

He explained it was due to the gathering of forensic evidence, the charging decision and the coronavirus outbreak.

Suzanne Payne, mitigating, told Newport Crown Court the delay was “unfathomable”.

She said that her client had no previous convictions at the time of the offence but had since served a 22-week custodial sentence for assault.

Mrs Payne added: “He is fearful of immediate custody. The defendant has grown up and is a different person.

“He now lives with his brothers. He came to a foreign country at the age of 14 and fell into bad company.”

Judge Daniel Williams said: “There has been a very long delay in this case for reasons which have not been adequately explained.

“I bear in mind the delay, your age and your guilty plea.”

Soran was sentenced to a 12-month community order.

He must carry out 40 hours of unpaid work, complete six sessions of a rehabilitation activity requirement and pay a £20 victim surcharge.

There was no order for prosecution costs.

Soran, who followed the proceedings through an interpreter in the Kurdish Sorani language, was warned he could face custody if he fails to complete the order.

Judge Williams ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the defendant’s drugs and mobile phone.