A 25-YEAR-OLD Betws painter and decorator told police he had drugs in his pocket during a police raid, only to discover his pockets were empty.

Joseph Pritchard, of 4 Maerdy Road, was visiting friends at the property in Llandybie when officers swooped on October 27.

Crown prosecutor Ellie Morgan told Llanelli Magistrates’ Court that when officers warned those present they would be searched, self-employed Pritchard decided to come clean.

Unfortunately for him, Pritchard was cleaner than he thought.

Ms Morgan said: “When the police told him he would be searched, he told them that he had drugs on him and he emptied his pockets, but he could not find any.”

A later search of the property unearthed 1.97 grammes of methylethylcathinone – mephedrone or meowmeow– on a plate near to where Pritchard had been sitting.

Pritchard admitted that the drugs belonged to him.

He told officers he had paid £20 for the Class B drug and that he had intended to “snort” it.

Magistrates were told that Pritchard had previously received a police caution after being found in possession of cannabis in April 2012.

Defence solicitor Hywel Davies told the court that Pritchard had admitted to possessing “a small amount for personal use only”.

Pointing to his Pritchard’s employment record, Mr Davies described him as “a young man who has something positive to offer society”.

Pritchard pleaded guilty to possessing the drug.

Magistrates granted him a 12- month conditional discharge.

“If you commit any other offence in the next 12 months, you could be punished for this offence as well as the new one,” magistrates told him.

Pritchard was also ordered to pay £85 court costs and a £15 legal surcharge.