A drug dealer is behind bars thanks to concerned residents who reported their suspicions to the police.
The eagle-eyed citizens were able to give officers details of a car which had been driving around their flats – and hours later officers swooped on the vehicle outside a Swansea hotel.
One of the occupants of the car, Daniel Bird, was found with ready-to-sell heroin and crack cocaine deals, and a set of weighing scales.
Bird has previously been convicted of cannabis dealing – in 2018 he led police on a high speed chase though Swansea on his moped before deliberately riding into officers who cornered him outside a hospital.
Swansea Crown Court heard that in May and June this year residents living in flats around the Village Hotel in the city’s SA1 development became suspicious of a silver Ford Focus car which kept appearing in the area.
Ian Wright, prosecuting, said on the evening of June 10 a witness saw a man later identified as Bird sat in the passenger seat holding weighing scales which appeared to be covered in white powder.
Details of the vehicle were passed to police, and just before 10pm that night officers found the Focus parked near the Sandpiper Hotel on Swansea seafront.
The court heard there were four people in the car, including 30-year-old Bird – when searched he was found to have 16 wraps of heroin and crack in his trouser pockets, and scales in his hoodie. He also had a bag of skunk cannabis.
Mr Wright said police searched the room in the Sandpiper where the London-born defendant and his girlfriend were staying, but nothing was found.
Bird denied using heroin or crack but then gave a “no comment” interview.
No further action was taken against the three other people found in the Focus.
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Bird, of Heol y Gors, Townhill, Swansea, pleaded guilty possession of heroin and crack cocaine with intent to supply, and to the simple possession of cannabis when he appeared in the dock.
The court heard he was given a suspended prison sentence in 2018 for possession of cannabis with intent to supply. The Class A trafficking offences took place just weeks before the period of suspension was due to finish.
Dan Griffiths, for Bird, said the defendant had become involved in heroin and crack dealing after running up debts, and though he was a “somewhat limited individual with characteristics of vulnerability” he had none-the-less done so “with his eyes wide open”.
The advocate pointed out that the case was now 15 months old coming to court “through no fault of the defendant”.
Judge Huw Rees told Bird he had been given an opportunity in 2018 when a suspended sentence had been imposed.
He said those who traffic in Class A drugs bring “misery, harm, and even death” to others, and if the defendant continued to be involved in the business he could only expect ever-increasing sentences.
Giving Bird a 25% discount for his pleas the judge sentenced him to three years prison. The defendant will serve up to half that period in custody before being released on licence to serve the remainder in the community.
Judge Rees added that the delay in bringing what was a straightforward case to court was “unconscionable”.
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