A DRUG dealer living with his mother was caught selling heroin to pay for his own addiction.

Ben Owen, 32, from Abergavenny, previously jailed for robbery and assault, used WhatsApp to supply the class A drug, David Pinnell, prosecuting, said.

The home the defendant shares with his mum was raided by Gwent Police on St David’s Day 2021, Cardiff Crown Court was told.

Officers found small amounts of heroin and ecstasy which were for the defendant’s own personal use.

But they also a mobile phone which implicated Owen in the trafficking of drugs.


The device was analysed and found to contain incriminating WhatsApp evidence and a text message chasing up a drug debt he was owed.

Mr Pinnell said it was the opinion of an investigating police officer that: “The defendant is a drug user and is likely to be selling controlled drugs to fund his own habit.”

Owen, of Stanhope Street, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of heroin.

He also admitted possession of heroin and possession of ecstasy.

The offences were committed between November 17, 2020 and March 1, 2021.

The defendant has 19 previous convictions for 40 offences.

Gareth Williams, representing Owen, said in mitigation how his client had wrestled with both drug and health problems.

The judge, Recorder Lucy Crowther, told the defendant she wasn’t going to send him to prison.

She said: “There is a realistic prospect of rehabilitation in this case.

“You have made real efforts to come to terms with you addiction.”

Owen was jailed for 24 months, suspended for two years.

He was ordered to complete a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement and made the subject of an electronically monitored curfew between 7pm and 7am for the next three months.

The defendant will also have to pay a £156 victim surcharge.