South West Wales

Llanelli heroin abuse 'epidemic', judge warns

Jailed: Clockwise - Phillip Williams, Samiel Thorne, Darren Polvernio, David Williams, Debbie Wood Image copyright Dyfed-Powys Police
Image caption Clockwise: Phillip Williams, Samuel Thorne, Darren Polverino, David Williams, Debbie Wood

Heroin abuse in parts of south Wales has reached "epidemic" proportions, a judge has warned.

The comments came as a gang of drug dealers was jailed for flooding Llanelli in Carmarthenshire with the deadly Class A drug.

Four men and a woman received sentences ranging from nearly four years to two years at Swansea Crown Court.

It followed an undercover sting operation by Dyfed-Powys Police in Llanelli in June 2016.

"The use of heroin in the Llanelli areas has reached epidemic levels," Judge Geraint Walters said.

"This drug destroys lives and that message needs to be heard loud and clear again - as it seems to have fallen on deaf ears."

All five sentenced on Thursday pleaded guilty to drug supply offences:

  • Phillip Williams, 33, Llanelli - jailed for 50 months
  • Samuel Thorne, 29, Ammanford - jailed for 45 months
  • Debbie Wood, 33, Llanelli - jailed for 24 months
  • David Williams, 38, Llanelli - jailed for 40 months
  • Darren Polverino, 39, Burry Port - jailed for 36 months.

"What constantly amazes me is that so many people are willing participants in distributing this drug even though they are in the knowledge that if caught they will receive a custodial sentence," the judge added.