A SOLDIER who served in the Iraq War has avoided going to jail again after being caught drug dealing for a second time.

Andrew Gillgrass told police he was “self-medicating” when his home in the Pill area of Newport was raided and officers found cannabis.

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Andrew Kendall, prosecuting, said: “They discovered 21 snap bags which weighed a total of 18.5g and had been split into £10 deals.

“The police found text bombs on the defendant’s iPhone which had been send out to a large group of people.

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“They were advertising £10 and £20 cannabis deals.

“The defendant had told them, ‘I self-medicate.’”

Gillgrass, 35, of Price Close, pleaded guilty to possession of a class B drug with intent to supply.

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The offence took place on November 26, 2020.

Mr Kendall told Cardiff Crown Court how the defendant had three previous convictions for five offences.

They included a related conviction for possession of cannabis with intent to supply from April 2019.

He was jailed for six months, suspended for 12 months, on that occasion.

Gareth Williams, mitigating, said his client joined the army when he was 18 and served a tour in Iraq during his two years of service.

His barrister added: “The defendant’s guilty plea is the most important thing.

“He no longer smokes cannabis at all.

“The defendant told me, ‘I’m too old for this stuff now.’”

Mr Williams told the court how Gillgrass was hoping to be promoted to be a line manager for a food manufacturing company.

The judge, Recorder Greg Bull QC, told the defendant: “I am relieved to know you no longer smoke cannabis and have no need to supply it.”

Gillgrass was jailed for six months, suspended for 18 months.

He was ordered to complete a thinking skills programme and told to pay a £128 victim surcharge and £100 costs.

The court ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the drugs and the mobile phone.