A MAN who found himself ever more in debt due to his drug use felt compelled to sell cocaine out of fear, a court heard.

Clayton Leech, of Tryweryn Place in Wrexham, appeared for sentence at Mold Crown Court on Thursday.

The 30-year-old had previously been convicted of being concerned in the supply of cocaine, possession with intent to supply cocaine and possession of cannabis.

Laura Knightly, prosecuting, told the court Leech had been operating a 'graft phone' for two months between June and August this year.

He was caught on CCTV at his local Co-op store buying credit for the phone, which sent 'flare' messages (advertising drugs) to more than a hundred users.

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On August 17, police executed a warrant at his address and arrested him.

Items found included the graft phone, cannabis and cocaine - the latter of which the defendant tried to sweep onto the floor to dispose of it, Ms Knightly said.

Cash, scales and other paraphernalia were also seized from the address.

In interview, he made no comment but his phone revealed messages indicative of cocaine supply.

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The Leader: Clayton Leech (North Wales Police)Clayton Leech (North Wales Police) (Image: NWP)

Ms Knightly said he would have had an expectation of "significant financial advantage" from the offending, evidenced by high value clothes worth an estimated £11,000 being found at his home.

Richard Edwards, defending, said "The defendant has become involved in the supply of cocaine following his increasing addiction and ever-increasing debt which has built up in feeding that addiction.

"It is an all too familiar story, unfortunately, before these courts.

"He ultimately felt he had no choice but to start selling these drugs because he was fearful of the repercussions if he didn't.

"The pre-sentence report author describes him as displaying genuine fear of the people he was involved with.

"His role was to man the phone from he flat; he would supply those who came to his address.

The Leader:

"Those above him would drop off the drugs and pick up the cash."

Mr Edwards said the defendant's "£11,000" clothing collection was "nowhere near" the estimated value, and he'd accrued the items over a ten year period, not as a result of his two month involvement in the drug dealing.

Judge Timothy Petts jailed the defendant for two years and four months.