A SPICE dealer became addicted to the potent synthetic cannabis while serving a prison sentence, a judge heard.

Andrew Stewart, from Pontypool, played a “significant role” in the supply of the class B drug for two years, prosecutor Rebecca Griffiths told Cardiff Crown Court.

She said police recovered hundreds of spice-related texts which had been sent from his mobile phone.

Miss Griffiths added how one message read: “Power, power. Plenty to go around. Spread the word.”


Stewart was caught by police on December 8, 2019 with 8g of spice after a car he was travelling in was stopped in Pontypool.

Officers discovered a further 12.3g of the drug following a search of his home as well as cash.

The 29-year-old, of Bailey Crescent, Garndiffaith, pleaded guilty to offering to supply spice.

He also admitted possession of the drug with intent to supply.

The offences were committed between September 2017 and December 2019.

Miss Griffiths said Stewart had 31 previous convictions for 46 offences, including possession of drugs, assaulting a police officer, battery, drink driving and criminal damage.

Stuart John, mitigating, admitted the defendant had a “formidable” criminal record but argued his client had never been convicted of drug trafficking before this current offence.

He told the court Stewart has suffered a “horrific upbringing” and endured problems with alcoholism and drugs misuse.

Mr John said: “He developed an addiction for spice whilst serving a prison sentence in 2012.”

He added that the defendant was now drug-free and how there was a “realistic prospect of rehabilitation”.

Judge Daniel Williams told Stewart: “You were supplying spice over a two-year period in substantial quantities.”

But he told him he was prepared to spare him an immediate prison sentence.

The defendant was jailed for 12 months, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to complete 19 sessions of a thinking skills programme.

Stewart is due to face a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing on May 24.

Spice, one of the names used for a group of chemicals known as synthetic cannabinoids, is commonly sprayed on plants, such as the marshmallow plant, before being sold to be smoked.