A CONVICTED steroids dealer who failed to provide evidence that payments into his bank account were legitimate has been warned it is getting to the stage of “the dog ate my homework.”

Christopher Powell, now 37, of Two Locks Road in Cwmbran, was handed a suspended sentence in October after admitting to being concerned in the supply of the class C drug, possession of criminal property and possession of cannabis.

When the police searched the defendant’s girlfriend’s home in the town, they found £5,030 and a small amount of cannabis.

They belonged to Powell, and a further drugs warrant at his grandparents’ home uncovered a mobile phone with drug-related messages.

When Powell was interviewed by the police he said some of the money seized came from his grandparents and his job as a taxi driver.

The offences were committed between February and October 2019.

At a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing on Friday at Newport Crown Court, Powell’s defence disputed the figure put forward by the prosecution for how much he benefited from his illegal activities.

“The majority of that benefit figure is what the Crown says is unexplained cash deposits totalling some £49,000 into Mr Powell's bank account,” said Thomas Stanway, in Powell’s defence.

“Mr Powell disputes all of that figure.”

Judge Richard Williams asked why Powell had not supplied evidence supporting his claim that this money was obtained legitimately, to which the defence could provide no reason, adding only that there was “a significant amount of documentation.”

Byron Broadstock, for the prosecution, said: “At this stage the Crown cannot accept that these payments were legitimate. We have seen no evidence.

“The amount of around £6,000 is now accepted, so it is solely now the cash deposits which are disputed.”

Judge Williams agreed to adjourn the hearing until mid-August.

“I will give him a chance but it really is his last opportunity,” he said.

Addressing Powell, he said: “You were convicted of a lifestyle offence. It is for you to prove, on the balance of probabilities, that this was not as a result of drug dealing.

“The ball is in your court.

“If the court gets to the stage where documents a legitimate business would have available aren’t, it will get to the stage where you are saying ‘the dog ate my homework’.”