A pensioner caught dealing cannabis from his house says he turned to selling the drug as his benefits were not sufficient.
When police searched 75-year-old Albert Mills’ home they found more than 80g of the drug in ready-to-go deals along with £1,200 in cash and a stash of Euro currency. The defendant has 49 previous offences on his record, including for dealing cannabis, and by his own admission was “a bit of a tearaway” when younger.
Sian Cutter, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court that on January 7 this year police on patrol in the Sandfields area of Port Talbot saw a car pulling up outside a house and a man getting out and briefly enter a nearby house before returning to his vehicle carrying a small object. Officers suspected a drug deal had just been conducted, and they followed the car until it had left the street then stopped it – the driver was found to be in possession of a package of cannabis. You can read more stories about Port Talbot here.
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The court heard police then conducted a search of the target house and found a total of 82g of cannabis – most of the drug in a variety of ready-to-go deal sizes in plastic tubs in the kitchen – along with £1,200 in cash and 240 Euros, a set of weighing scales, and empty plastic bags.
Mills was arrested, and in his subsequent interview said he had been dealing cannabis for a couple of months because his benefits were not enough. Read about the pensioner who sent a picture of his penis to a ’13-year-old girl’ but it was actually paedophile hunters
Albert Edward Mills, of Farm Drive, Sandfields, Port Talbot, had previously pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis with intent to supply when he appeared in the dock for sentencing. He has 13 previous convictions for 49 offences – his last conviction was from 2011 when he got a suspended sentence for six offences of possession of cannabis with intent to supply and being concerned in the supply of cannabis.
Andrew Evans, for Mills, said the pre-sentence report into the defendant had identified a number of “personal tragedies” in his life, and he said his client had been using cannabis as an emotional crutch to deal with them – drug use which Mills now appreciated was detrimental to his health. The court heard that in the pre-sentence report Mills had admitted that he had been “a bit of a tearaway” when he was younger.
Recorder David Elias QC said it was clear Mills had been engaged in street dealing on a “reasonably significant scale”. He said the defendant had been candid about his reasons for engaging in the dealing but said many people were struggling on benefits but they did not resort to criminal behaviour.
With a one-third discount for his guilty plea Mills was sentenced to 10 months in prison suspended for 18 months, and was ordered to complete a rehabilitation course.
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