Man jailed after trying to smuggle drugs onto Anglesey


Staff reporter (NW Chronicle)

AN ANGLESEY man has been caught trying to smuggle amphetamine with a street value of more than £200,000 onto the island.

Police stopped a Land Rover driven by courier Paul Andrew Leadbetter, aged 32, on the A55 in Flintshire and discovered the drugs in a hidden compartment under the passenger seat.

Leadbetter, 32, who lived in Pentraeth at the time, was struggling financially as a tree cutter, and agreed to pick up the drugs for £100, Mold Crown Court heard.

He said that while he knew the package was suspicious, he did now know it contained drugs.

But Judge Rhys Rowlands, who jailed him for 16 months, said that he did not accept that.

Judge Rowlands said that Leadbetter had pleaded guilty at a preliminary stage which was important to reduce the sentence.

He added: “That said, you know the amount of amphetamine here makes it a very serious offence.

“You collected it from Liverpool, it was a high purity of 66 per cent which would be further adulterated and then sold on the street of north west Wales.”

Leadbetter, who has since moved with his wife and two small children to his parents’ home in Fleetwood Crescent in Southport, pleaded guilty to a charge of possessing the drug with intent to supply.

Judge Rowlands said a large amount of high purity drugs were being brought into North Wales from the North West which was clearly a serious matter.

Kate Meredith-Jones, prosecuting, told how on May 2, police received information that the defendant’s green coloured Land Rover had been seen acting suspiciously in the Merseyside area.

At 7.30 pm that evening officers stopped the vehicle as he drove home to Anglesey along the A55 at Junction 32 near Pentre Halkyn in Flintshire.

He was arrested and the Landrover was taken to Mold police station where it was searched and a bag was found under the passenger seat, inside of which were two plastic bags containing white powder.

Interviewed, he said that he lived with his finance and two children aged one and two, he worked cutting trees and was struggling financially and in debt.

Leadbetter said he received a phone call from a friend asking him to collect a package from Liverpool.

Initially he refused, later agreeing to do so, but understood that the request was not from his friend but from “a suspicious male on Anglesey.”

David Kilty, defending, said his client was extremely remorseful and had written a short letter himself to the judge.

His role was limited, he had no influence on those above him, and he only resorted “to such drastic action” because he was short of work and money.

If he had been convicted after a trial then he would have been jailed for two years but he would receive the full one third credit for his guilty plea.

The judge ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the drugs.

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