A former Amman Valley firefighter was caught with cannabis just hours after he appeared in court to admit growing the drug.

Imran Ali, formerly of Brynaman but now living in Pontyates, appeared before Llanelli magistrates to plead guilty to possessing 1.5 grammes of the Class B drug when he was searched by police on August 12.

Magistrates were told that Ali, aged 37, had earlier in the day been prosecuted for cultivating cannabis and had admitted growing four plants.

The court heard how Ali, who grew up on the border between Iran and Afghanistan, had come to south Wales in search of a better life and had set up home in the Amman Valley where he married and had four children.

Richard Morgan, defending, told the court that Ali had suffered a severe back injury and now occasionally used the drug for pain relief.

“The only reason he involved himself with cannabis is due to his injury,” said Mr Morgan.

“On a bad day he does not know which way to turn and uses cannabis for medicinal purposes.

“He was previously prosecuted for possessing four plants which he had grown to avoid having to buy it off the street.

“He is an artist and multi-lingual but because of his physical limitations he finds it very difficult to get meaningful work.”

Mr Morgan described how Ali had been unable to contact his mother – and other members of his family who remain in the Iran and Afghanistan region – for more than a decade.

He said that after appearing in court in relation to the cultivation charge, Ali had “succumbed to the pressure of the day”.

Magistrates urged Ali to seek medical treatment for his back injury and fined him £100 for cannabis possession.

He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a further £15 surcharge.