A FORMER soldier who served in the Welsh Guards in Afghanistan and Iraq agreed to receive packages of cannabis from California.

Swansea Crown Court heard that Border Force staff seized a package on October 17 bound for Llanelli from California, prosecutor Alycia Carpanini said.

It contained 38 grams of cannabis, cannabis vape cartridges, and a cannabis ‘quick dabber’.

Officers went and searched the address where the parcel had been destined for.

They found 427.7 grams of cannabis and a set of weighing scales were stashed in the washing machine. Darren English was at the address, and was arrested.

The cannabis was estimated to have a street value of between £2,690 to £2,810, Ms Carpanini said.

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When interviewed, English told officers the cannabis was for his own personal use, adding: “I buy in bulk as it’s cheaper”.

He said that he was at a house party and agreed with a man he knew only as ‘Jay’ to be paid £200 to receive a parcel.

When he received a letter from Border Force, he had “the fright of his life”, he told police. After that, the court heard, English had backed out of the agreement.

Ms Carpanini said there was no evidence that the phones or laptop seized at the property were used in the buying or selling of cannabis.

“You had over £2,500 of cannabis in your home,” the judge, Recorder Duncan Bould, said. “Your intent to supply would have been to a circle of people you knew who were cannabis users over a period of time.”

Ian Ibrahim, defending, said English had left home at 16 to join the army, and had served tours of Iraq and Afghanistan with the Welsh Guards.

English, 37, had been diagnosed with PTSD since he had left the military, Mr Ibrahim said, and he self-medicated with cannabis.

The defendant had already spent four months on remand, and during this time helped other inmates with their English and maths skills, as well as helping others with their mental health, Mr Ibrahim said.

“It was stupid,” Mr Ibrahim said about the offending. “I suspect that he may have learnt his lesson.”

English, of Ger Y Llan in Llanelli, admitted a charge of being concerned in the fraudulent evasion of a prohibition on the importation of cannabis, as well as an offence of possession with intent to supply cannabis.

Recorder Bould jailed English for three months for the importation offence, and a further five months for possession with intent to supply.

As he had already spent four months in custody, English will serve the rest of his sentence in the community.