A HEROIN dealer who sold drugs to police officers in a park during an undercover operation is behind bars.

Paul Newberry, 42, from Newport, was jailed by a judge at Cardiff Crown Court who told him he was caught up in a “sordid business”.

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Prosecutor James Evans told how the defendant was arrested as part of Gwent Police’s Operation Solar.

He said Newberry had supplied the undercover officers twice after meeting them at Lysaghts Park in Newport.


Mr Evans told the court: “On November 11, 2019, undercover officer ‘Jack’ telephoned a drugs line known as the ‘Toffee Line’.

“The officers were told to go to the pylon at Lysaghts Park. The defendant turned up in a silver Ford.

“He was suspicious of ‘Jack’ and asked one of the drug users there called ‘Sideburns’ to hand over a £15 wrap of heroin.

“The drugs were later analysed and found to be of low purity – 10%.”

Mr Evans said the ‘Toffee Line’ advertised drugs and promised to supply “banging white”.

The prosecutor said the undercover officers and Newberry set up another heroin deal three days later on November 14 back at Lysaghts Park.

Mr Evans said: “This time the defendant handed over a £15 wrap of heroin from his mouth which was of an even lower purity – 5% – and his DNA was found on it.”

Newberry, of Portskewett Street, pleaded guilty to two counts of supplying heroin.

The court heard the defendant had 20 previous convictions for 40 offences, including dishonesty, burglary, violence and public disorder.

He also has a previous conviction for possession of amphetamine with intent to supply.

Byron Broadstock, for Newberry, said: “The defendant’s principal mitigation is his guilty pleas.

“These were two isolated incidents of supply. This is a man who has battled with his own drug addiction for decades.

“Since his arrest in June he has been in custody and is now drug-free.”

His barrister added: “He had worked for Cardiff council in recycling and had his own business at one point.

“This has been a significant wake up call for him.”

The judge, Recorder Dyfed Thomas, told Newberry: “You were involved in a sordid business.

“Drugs are a scourge on modern society. They harm the communities in which they are sold.”

He jailed the defendant for three years and ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the heroin.

Newberry must also pay a £181 surcharge after his release from prison.

Outside the court, Detective Inspector Ian Bartholomew said: “We hope this conviction serves as a message to others, we are committed to identifying and prosecuting those involved in illegal drug activity which has such a devastating impact on so many lives.

“If have any information about people involved in this crime, please work with us and pass on information so that we can act on it.”