A Brynaman cannabis smoker caught with less than £5 worth of the drug in his pocket has been ordered to pay an eye-watering £405 in fines and costs.
Nicholas Leonard, of 24 Mountain Road, admitted possessing 0.42 grammes of the cannabis when he was stopped by police in Glanaman at 12.15am on February 22.
Llanelli magistrates were told how officers on mobile patrol spotted the 24-year-old walking along Station Road towards Riverside Walk and, knowing he had previous convictions for cannabis possession, decided to speak to him.
“They asked him if he had anything he should not,” prosecutor Ellie Morgan told the court.
Leonard, a labourer, replied: “To be honest I have got a bit of cannabis.”
He then produced a small tobacco tin from his pocket. Inside was a small amount of cannabis wrapped in a cigarette paper.
When interviewed the following day, Leonard told police the drug was his own use and that he planned to smoke it.
He told officers he had bought £10-worth of the drug but then smoked more than half of it.
Leonard told officers that he had “a pretty bad habit” and regularly smoked around 14 grammes - £140-worth – per week.
The court was told Leonard was currently subject to a 12-month conditional discharge issued in June 2012 for cannabis possession. He was also convicted of cannabis possession in October 2012.
Steve Lloyd, defending, told the court Leonard had co-operated fully with the officers.
“It is difficult for anyone to have co-operated with the police any more than he did,” said Mr Lloyd.
“The only thing that brings him into contact with the courts is cannabis. He knows if he continues he will be back here again.”
Magistrates lifted the conditional discharge imposed in 2013 and instead fined Leonard £135 for the offence.
They fined him a further £165 for the current offence and ordered he pay £85 court costs and a further £20 legal surcharge.