A MAN who ordered Xanex tablets through the post as a substitute for taking crack cocaine, crushed up 30 tablets and drank them with water from a flower vase before he was found disorientated in a Powys supermarket.

Padraig Lovell was discovered wondering around Co-op in Builth Wells on October 9 last year with a tea towel draped around his shoulders, wearing only one trainer and with his trousers pulled down.

Llandrindod Wells Magistrates’ Court heard this week that Lovell, 41, was described by Co-op staff as trying to talk but was “just making noises”.

Police later found 685 Xanex tablets at his Llais yr Afon home, in Builth. On Wednesday, June 22, Lovell pleaded guilty to possessing a Class C controlled drug.

Prosecutor Stephen Davies said that staff at the store suspected Lovell was under the influence of something when he entered.

“He was trying to talk, but was just making noises,” said Mr Davies. “He had a tea towel around his shoulders and only one trainer on, while his trousers were down.

“Police were called and took him back to his address. He invited them in and PC Chard discovered a quantity of blue and green tablets in his possession, they were Etizolam.

“He told the officers they were his. He was interviewed at a later date. He said the tablets were his and he consumed some of them at the time of the incident. There were 685 tablets and they would be worth £360-420 if they’d been sold.”

Mr Davies said Lovell had last been convicted of an offence in 2020, a charge of being drunk and disorderly.

Paul Lewis, acting for Lovell, said: “The only aggravating feature is the number of tablets.

“They were all recovered. He had obtained them via the post. He used them to self-medicate a crack cocaine habit. They are a substitute for a more serious substance.

“He ordered a quantity and had used part of them. On the day he says he mixed up 30 tablets with water from a flower vase and had taken them, which explains his demeanour.

“The police took him home for his own welfare. He is embarrassed by the circumstances.”

Probation officer Donna Davies said Lovell was currently the subject of a community order, which included 21.5 hours of unpaid work that remain outstanding.

“His officer is trying to get them removed due to his health issues and the ongoing pandemic, which is why he has not been able to complete his order,” she said. “The order is still in place a year after it should have expired.

“He has recently suffered a serious stroke, he realises now he needs to make some lifestyle changes.”

Magistrates fined Lovell £80 and ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £34 surcharge. They ordered the drugs to be destroyed and also revoked the current community order without resentencing.