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Fishguard man sentenced after being unwittingly caught up in UK border force drugs operation

A Fishguard man who found himself caught up in a UK Border Force operation that involved a major drugs seizure in north Pembrokeshire this week appeared before magistrates to plead guilty to possessing an illegal Class B drug.

Mathew Griffiths, 54, was arrested by officers in January 2020 whilst he was living in a multiple occupancy property in North Pembrokeshire.  Residing in the property were two other men who were subsequently charged with possessing drugs with intent to supply.

As a result, officers issued a search warrant on Griffiths’ other address in Dinas Cross which is where they discovered a total of 31.5 grams of cannabis which had a street value of approximately £315.

This week Griffiths appeared before Haverfordwest magistrates where he pleaded guilty to possessing the drug.

“The conclusion was that he had the cannabis for his own personal use,” said Crown Prosecutor Kelly Rivers.

Griffiths, who now resides in Bridge Street, Fishguard, was represented in court by Mr David Williams.

“The UK border force operation was in place because something large scale was involved,” Mr Williams told the magistrates.

“But at the time my client was a lodger in the multiple occupancy house where the other defendants were found, and this was where they discovered that my client also had at another address in Dinas Cross, This was where they found the cannabis.”

Mr Williams added that at the time of the offence, Griffiths was a cannabis user and had purchased the drug for his own personal use.

After listening to the evidence, Griffiths was granted a conditional discharge by magistrates for six months.  He was also ordered to pay a  £26 court surcharge.  A forfeiture and destruction order was imposed for the drugs.

Imposing sentence, the presiding magistrate questioned the length of time it had taken the matter to reach the courts

“There has been a significant delay in bringing this to court and I’m sure this has worried you considerably,” she said.  

“The delay has been far too long.  Waiting three years to be dealt with in a court is unacceptable.”