A DRUG dealing couple caught red-handed selling heroin outside a pub and offering “drop offs all day” have walked free from court.

Cheneade Roper and David Taylor were first arrested near the Ship and Pilot in the Pill area of Newport when it was closed during the coronavirus lockdown last year.

The pair were spotted by plain clothes police selling heroin to a drug user who had gone up to their Ford Fiesta car outside the pub on January 29, 2021.

Prosecutor Tim Evans told Cardiff Crown Court how Roper had kicked out at the arresting officers who found 29 wraps of heroin on her and Taylor’s DNA on the packaging.

The couple were released under investigation and were arrested again five weeks later in the same Fiesta by different officers, this time in the Mill Parade area of Pill.

Police recovered a pay as you go “burner phone” which had a large number of text bombs on it offering heroin for sale.

One message from Taylor to Roper following a “domestic” dispute exchange read: “It’s a drugs line for **** sake!”

Mr Evans added how another message promised customers: “Best around. Drop offs all day”.

Roper, 32, of Greene Close, Newport, and David Taylor, 43, of Rectory Road, Swffryd, Abertillery, both admitted being concerned in the supply of heroin and possession of the class A drug with intent to supply.

Roper also pleaded guilty to obstructing a police officer.

She had 18 previous convictions for 45 offences, including assault, theft and possession of amphetamine.

Taylor had 33 previous convictions for 72 offences, including wounding with intent, burglary and battery.

The barristers representing both defendants said their clients had been working to rid themselves of their drug addictions.

Gareth Williams for Roper said she had been dealing to fund her own long-standing “expensive” heroin habit.

He added how she suffered with mental health problems, been homeless and had led a “chaotic lifestyle”.

Mr Williams asked the court to take into account her early guilty pleas and the fact she had kept out of trouble for more than a year since the offences were committed.

William Bebb said his client Taylor had endured a “difficult upbringing”.

The judge, Recorder Neil Owen-Casey, told the defendants: “You have supplied class A drugs and have been found in possession of class A drugs.

“You both have extensive conviction histories.”

But he told them he was prepared to spare them an immediate prison term so that they could continue to work to beat their heroin problems.

They were both jailed for two years, suspended for two years, made the subject of a nine-month drug rehabilitation activity requirement, a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement and ordered to pay a £156 surcharge.