Drug dealers who went to sell cocaine at Royal Welsh Show are jailed

Two men who ‘targeted’ the Young Person’s Village at the Royal Welsh Show as ‘a ready market’ for selling £1,500 of cocaine have been jailed.

Sonny Brandon Thompson and Shaun Luke James Willingham attended the village on July 24, 2019. They were stopped and searched on entering and 21 clear bags containing cocaine were discovered.

They appeared at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court earlier this month.

Prosecuting, Mr Craig Jones said the bags in total contained 14g of cocaine of 46 per cent purity and it was split into individual bags, with a potential street value of between £1,240 and £1,550.

Their mobile phones were seized. Thompson refused to provide the PIN number to unlock his phone but Willingham’s phone showed a schedule of messages indicating that he had been concerned in the supply of cocaine from August 10, 2018 to July 25, 2019.

Mr Jones said Willingham, 22, of Pentresaer, Mynydd Cerrig has no previous convictions, cautions or warnings.

He admitted possessing 14g of cocaine at Builth Wells on July 24 with intent to supply and being concerned in the supply of cocaine between August 18, 2018 and July 25, 2019 in Carmarthenshire and Powys.

Thompson denied the joint charge of possession with the intent to supply, and stood trial in May. The jury returned a guilty verdict.

It was revealed that the 23-year-old of Heol Llwchwr, Ammanford, was convicted of possession of cocaine and MDNA with intent to supply in April 2019, just three months before this offence.

For that he received a two-year prison sentenced suspended for two years with community requirements. He admitted breaching that order.

Mitigating for Willingham, Ms Jemma Gordon said he had pleaded guilty originally on a written basis but it was withdrawn.

She said in the two years since the offences, Willingham has kept out of trouble and has turned his life around. He no longer uses drugs, is working, has been promoted and has completed his apprenticeship.

Mitigating for Thompson, Mr Jonathon Tarrant said Thompson’s early 20s involved addiction and drug selling but he has matured and now has a partner and a young child. His compliance with his community order had been "impeccable".

Recorder Caroline Rees QC said the Young Person’s Village was "targeted by you as a ready market for selling class A drugs".

Willingham was imprisoned for 30 months, while Thompson was imprisoned for 54 months in total - one year for the breach and 42 months consecutively for the new matter.

An initial Proceeds of Crime Act hearing will be held in November and a forfeiture and destruction order will be made then.

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