A DRUG dealer left court laughing after a judge slammed Gwent Police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) as “incompetent” for taking 28 months to bring him to justice.

This was despite Rhys Lloyd being caught with 400 grammes of amphetamine in his car and immediately admitting the drugs were his, Newport Crown Court was told.

Prosecutor Steven Donoghue said the defendant was stopped by officers in the city on July 29 2017 after he was spotted driving a Honda erratically.


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Although the amphetamine was found on one of his passengers, Lloyd confessed to the police that it belonged to him, and he had a mobile phone with drug-related messages on it.

Mr Donoghue explained to Judge Daniel Williams why the matter had taken two-and-a-half years to come to court.

He said it took the police 13 months to submit their file to the CPS, which then rejected it in March 2019 so “further inquiries” could be made.

To this, the judge replied: “It wasn’t enough was it, that he had 400 grammes of speed in his car?”

He added: “The prosecution of this case has been lamentable. When you read of a police officer boasting about how thorough his statement is, it’s hard to bear.

“Perhaps they won’t be so inclined to be smug in future.”

Lloyd, 30, formerly of Pontypool, now of Stanfield Street, Cwm, near Ebbw Vale, pleaded guilty to possessing amphetamine with intent to supply.

When the defendant’s barrister Julia Cox was told by Judge Williams that he would be imposing a short, suspended jail sentence, she said there was no need for her to offer mitigation to the court.

Judge Williams told Lloyd: “The unconscionable delay in this case wasn’t your fault. It was down to the incompetence of the police and the CPS.”

He jailed the defendant for 12 weeks, suspended for 12 months, and ordered him to pay a £115 surcharge.

As Lloyd was leaving court, he and a woman with him could be seen chuckling to each other.

Judge Williams told Mr Donoghue: “They were actually laughing as they left court, and I don’t blame them.”