A DRUG dealer complained to arresting police officers, “It’s hard to make a living – I need to feed my family”.

Latham Thomas, 23, had a grumble after being caught trafficking cannabis twice in the Blackwood area, prosecutor Meirion Davies said.

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Cardiff Crown Court was told how the defendant had also been found with £1,800 in cash.

Thomas, of St Margaret’s Avenue, Cefn Fforest, near Blackwood, was first arrested by Gwent Police on September 25, 2019.


After being released under investigation, he was caught back at it on May 18, 2020.

Thomas pleaded guilty to supplying cannabis and possession of the class B drug with intent.

He also admitted possession of criminal property.

Mr Davies said Thomas had two previous convictions for drug driving and possession of cocaine.

Ed Mitchard, representing the defendant, said in mitigation how there had been a “significant delay” in bringing the case to court by the prosecution.

He added: “He has remained crime free for the last 12 months.”

The court was told father-of-one Thomas had been the victim of a serious assault when he was aged 18 and suffered mental health problems.

The judge, Recorder Simon Mills, told him: “For around eight months you were engaged in the supply of cannabis at street level.

“Your phone shows you were negotiating with people who were in possession of kilo amounts of this drug.

“You did this for significant financial reward.

“This was effectively your own business.

“You carried on after one arrest which shows a degree of arrogance.”

Recorder Mills jailed the defendant for 14 months, but suspended his prison sentence for two years.

He ordered Thomas to complete a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement and made him the subject of an electronically curfew for two months between 8pm and 7am.

The defendant is due to face a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing later this year.