A DRUG dealer was caught with heroin and crack cocaine in his pants after plain-clothes cops spotted him selling to addicts on a street corner.

Michael Pritchard, 42, was arrested by police who saw him supplying two men in the Pill area of Newport at around 9.30pm on the night of Sunday, October 8.

When he was taken into custody and strip-searched detectives found 13 wraps of heroin and crack cocaine hidden in his underwear, prosecutor Sol Hartley said.

Officers discovered two more wraps in his trousers, Cardiff Crown Court heard.

After searching his home, police found a mobile phone belonging to him containing drug-related text messages which further implicated him.

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Pritchard supplied a “small circle of customers” and was a fellow addict who became involved in drug dealing to pay off a debt and fund his own use.

South Wales Argus:

Michael Pritchard's Gwent Police mugshot

The defendant, of Tyne Close, Bettws, Newport pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of heroin and being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine.

He also admitted possession of both class A drugs with intent to supply.

The offences took place between August 18 and October 8.

Pritchard has a previous relevant conviction for possession of amphetamine with intent to supply but that dated back to 1997 when he was a youth.

The defendant’s most recent conviction was in July when he was banned for drug driving.

Ben Waters representing Pritchard told the court his client had been “exploited” by others above him in the drugs chain.

The defendant lost his job as a road worker in 2021 after he was diagnosed with epilepsy.

Pritchard has been “dogged” by a long-standing addiction to class A drugs and started dealing when he was “desperate” after building up debt.

“Sadly, he has lost friends and his brother to drug misuse,” Mr Waters added.

“There was no expectation of significant profits and there were no trappings of wealth.

“There was a lack of sophistication in his offending.”

His barrister urged the court to pass a suspended sentence to allow the defendant to gain help for his addiction.

Pritchard had spent the last eight weeks in prison after being remanded in custody.

The Recorder of Cardiff, Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke, said the defendant’s offending was aggravated by the fact he was selling two types of class A drugs.

He was jailed for two years and two months.