A FORMER soldier has been jailed for two years after he admitted possessing cocaine with intent to supply.
Ian Chard, of Acrefair, Wrexham, ran off when police saw him and hurled packages, which turned out to be cocaine, onto a railway line.
Mold Crown Court heard how he had been in the army for three years but he left in order to help his partner bring up their three children.
But over a short period of time he had been supplying cocaine, a class A drug.
Judge Niclas Parry told him: “There has never been a greater concern in North Wales about the availability of cocaine.”
It was clearly a harmful substance and people like Chard, 26, were prepared to make money by supplying it.
Text messages found on his phone only confirmed that for whatever period, which was probably short, and for whatever reason, he was part of the supply of cocaine on the streets.
But he had pleaded guilty and while he had a poor record of criminal convictions, he had none for drugs.
The judge, in addition to the two year prison sentence, made an order under the Proceeds of Crime Act that his criminal benefit from supply had been £3,226. He confiscated the £160 which police seized from him on his arrest.
David Mainstone, prosecuting, said last September police on mobile patrol saw the defendant in the passenger seat of a car parked in Cefn Mawr.
Chard, of Aled, Acrefair, was wanted for an unrelated matter at the time and police followed.
The car then stopped and Chard jumped out and fled.
Police followed and an officer saw him throw his mobile phone, which was recovered.
Another officer saw him remove a package from his pocket and throw it over a hedge onto a railway line.
He then immediately surrendered himself by lying flat on the ground.
A total of 27 grammes of cocaine were recovered by the police which had an estimated street value of more than £3,200.
Some incriminating text messages were found on his mobile phone.
Andrew Green, defending, said Chard looked back on his days in the army as a very positive time and wished he had made more of a go of it.
He started offending in 2011 which coincided with the time he and his partner separated.
Chard had real responsibilities in his army life and Mr Green said that if he could draw from that self-discipline there was hope he would remain offence free in the future.
He was ashamed by his substance abuse, was highly motivated to change, and felt a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders by under taking a “building skills for recovery programme” in custody where he had been confident enough to challenge others in the group not to follow his lead.
Chard had completed a painting and decorating course in prison and was now working as a mentor for others.
Mr Green said Chard had made “real and significant efforts” to change while in custody and it was his intention on his release to re-establish proper contact with his children and remain offence free.