Bidford drug dealer ordered to pay back thousands

Monday 27 January 2014 Updated: 30/01 07:56

A JUDGE has ordered almost £15,000 be confiscated from a man caught selling heroin and crack cocaine at a drugs den in a south Warwickshire house.

Tristan Welsh, of The Poplars, Bidford, had originally denied possessing heroin and crack with intent to supply them.

But the 32-year-old changed his pleas to guilty after new evidence dramatically emerged during his trial at Warwick Crown Court last year.

He was jailed for four years, with a consecutive nine-month sentence for an offence of dangerous driving committed while he was on bail for the drugs matters.

But a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act was adjourned for an investigation into his finances, including any bank accounts and other assets he had.

And at the resumed hearing Judge Alan Parker was told Welsh’s benefit from his illegal activity had been assessed as £14,960 and that he had an ‘available amount’ to cover that.

So the judge ordered £14,960 to be confiscated from Welsh, and gave a formal 56 days for it to be paid, in default of which Welsh will have to serve a further nine months.

During his trial prosecutor Andrew Wilkins had said that in September 2011 the police raided ‘what was in effect a drugs den’ at a house in Smiths Close, Bidford.

They found Welsh in the process of supplying drugs to another person and seized crack and heroin, worth a total of more than £2,000.

When Welsh, who admitted possessing 52 tablets of the heroin substitute Methadone for his own use, first appeared in court in 2012 he denied being a crack and heroin dealer.

Lloyd Jenkins, defending, said Welsh’s case was that he was a drug-user and had gone to the address ‘where drugs are sold’ to buy some for himself and had fallen asleep - but later changed his plea to guilty following evidence of phone calls made.

The court also heard that in June last year the police saw a Mazda at 3.30am in Birmingham, and believed the driver was intoxicated.

They put on their blue light and tried to stop him, but Welsh sped off at up to 80mph in the 40 zone before turning into a cul-de-sac when he stopped, got out and ran off.

Welsh, who had driven over a grass verge and across a pavement during the eight-minute pursuit, was found hiding behind a fence and arrested, added Mr Wilkins.

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