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International gymnast from Rhos jailed for selling drugs

Published date: 29 May 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A MAN who became a Welsh international gymnast despite suffering from cystic fibrosis has been jailed for supplying drugs.

A plea for a suspended sentence was made on behalf of Dyfan Buffey, 23, at Mold Crown Court, but he was told that it had to be an immediate sentence.

Buffey of Cilfan, Rhos near Wrexham – a member of the Saltney Gymnastics Club – was said to have gone off the rails after his grandfather died.

He started keeping the wrong company, got involved in drugs, and came under pressure to supply drugs to pay off his debt.

Yesterday Judge Niclas Parry jailed him for 15 months after he admitted supplying cocaine and MCAT.

The judge said the irony of the case was that while he put down his supply to the fear of dealers and the need to pay debts, by behaving as he did he was exposing other young people to the same type of misery and risks.

“By your own admissions you have been a supplier making significant commercial profits,” he said.

Judge Parry said it had to be understood that the only way to tackle what had blighted his life was to stop dealers by appropriate sentences.

But there was substantial mitigation. He had pleaded guilty at a preliminary stage, he would be treated as a man of good character, he was hard working and had overcome great difficulties in his personal life to become a committed and proficient sportsman.

He had significant health difficulties which would mean that any custodial sentence would be extremely difficult for him.

The sentence would therefore be far lower than would normally be the case.

Prosecuting barrister Simon Rogers said that the landlord of a Wrexham pub witnessed Buffey making a drugs deal, seized a small package and gave it to the police. It turned out to be cocaine.

His home was searched and drugs and other items including scales and small plastic bags were found.

Buffey admitted buying drugs to sell on and said he would buy an ounce of cocaine for £100 and make a £200 profit.

He stopped dealing last year but started up again for the money.

The court heard that the prosecution were seeking to claim £2,000 in cash seized at his home as drugs money but defending barrister John Wyn Williams said that it was money his mother had given him to buy a car. A financial hearing under The Proceeds of Crime Act may now have to be held.

Mr Wyn Williams said it was a sad and tragic day for the defendant and his family and suggested it was an exceptional course when the court could depart from the guidelines and impose a suspended sentence.

Buffey was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis as a child, was on a long list of medication, he passed 13 GCSEs in school and did a two year Btech course in IT.

Mr Wyn Williams handed in references including one from the head coach at Saltney Gymnastics Club and said that despite his difficulties the defendant had represented Wales at the British Gymnastics Championships.

“That shows the resolve of a young man who has real health difficulties,” he said.

Buffey, said Mr Wyn Williams, was hit hard by the death of his grandfather, he started mixing with the wrong people and taking class A drugs and he had started to supply them.

Buffey had become depressed and quite ill, lost a lot of weight and there was a change in his attitude to life.

His cystic fibrosis needed careful monitoring and would have to be very carefully monitored in custody and his client needed to attend a very important medical appointment at Oswestry in June.

l Buffey received a two month concurrent sentence for perverting the course of justice after he admitted changing the date on a police insurance producer to make it look as if he was insured to drive his car when he was not. He was given no separate penalty after he admitted driving without insurance.

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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