A POWYS drug dealer has been spared an immediate prison sentence, because he has “completely changed” his life.

Liam Wainwright, 42, was found with almost 40 grams of heroin at his Llanfyllin home in February 2021, valued at close to £3,000, while nearly £5,000 in cash was seized.

At Mold Crown Court on Thursday, November 30, Judge Simon Mills told him he had been persuaded enough by the “leaps and strides” Wainwright had made in his life since the offences – namely getting and holding down a job and re-establishing contact with his children – to suspend the period of imprisonment.

Wainwright admitted two charges, possessing heroin with intent to supply and possessing cannabis, when he appeared at Welshpool Magistrates' Court on November 7.

Police raided his north Powys home on the morning of February 1, 2021. “He said to PC Jones ‘Has someone dobbed me in?’,” said prosecutor Amy Edwards.


She said police seized numerous drugs, cash and paraphernalia. This included 17 grams of heroin, valued at £2,125; a sealable tub containing another 5.42g of heroin, valued at £675; 6.69g of cannabis and 10.7g of cannabis; a black mobile and charger; as well as an electronic scales with cocaine, diamorphine and cannabis residue present.

“There were separate cash bundles with a total value of £4,925 found in the property, and a total amount of 39.62g of heroin recovered,” said Ms Edwards.

“The download of the mobile phone not possible as the defendant would not give police the pin, but DS Jones said the value would not be consistent with normal street dealings.”

Wainwright confirmed all the items were his and said the heroin was for personal use. Ms Edwards said the cash and amount of heroin seized indicated Wainwright played a significant supply role.

She said he had committed no new offences in the intervening two-and-a-half years, but had been before the court on three occasions for breaching a previous community order.

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Representing Wainwright, of Maes y Dderwen, Llanfyllin, Oliver King said his client became addicted to the Class A drug during lockdown as it “took the edge off” his anxiety.

“He has made leaps and strides in his life since this,” said Mr King, who told how Wainwright had been pursuing an engineering degree before the pandemic.

“He was at a particularly low ebb after lockdown, as he was isolated and unable to see family and friends. It became an addiction and he started to deal it to people he knew, to fund his own habit.

“He wasn’t supplying to the wider community, this was not a larger commercial outfit. Your honour will see cases where the scale of the operation and potential client base is massive.”

He added: “There have been no further criminal offences. He’s got a job, which is approaching a year now, and within the company he has applied for a more skilled position, so he is looking to progress.

“He is now having regular contact with his children, who stay with him at weekends. He supports his parents who are in their late 70s and he looks after his brother who has learning difficulties and cannot live independently.

“The root of his offending was his problem with drugs. He has now dealt with it and the offending has stopped. It has been a journey of recovery and he is now rehabilitated.”

Judge Mills told Wainright: “Heroin is wicked substance, as you know.

“It destroys people’s lives and causes massive harm to the community. It wreaks absolute havoc.

“It was a long time ago now that police caught you. It wasn’t just a couple of wraps, you had quite a lot of heroin and cash.

“I don’t know what was in your phone as you wouldn’t provide the pin but I am willing to accept you were supplying to people you knew and not introducing people to it."

He added: “I am persuaded it’s not unjust to the public to suspend the sentence and I form the opinion you’re unlikely to offend again. I’ve gone out on a limb, justifiably, to pass this sentence.”

Judge Mills passed a sentence of two years in prison, which will be suspended for two years. An additional eight months for possessing cannabis is to be served concurrently, and will also be suspended.

Wainwright will undertake a two-year community order, with 250 hours of unpaid work and 20 rehabilitation activity days.