A designer clothes salesman was arrested in his shop after police discovered he had supplied up to £4,000 to a downstream drug dealer. He was also found in possession of cocaine, cannabis and a tick list which indicated he was owed more than £8,000.

Ashley Forbes, 26, was arrested by officers at his designer clothes shop in Blackwood High Street on January 27 this year. He came to the attention of the authorities after messages were found on another drug dealer's phone, which were related to the supply of cocaine.

A sentencing hearing at Swansea Nightingale Court heard Forbes was searched and found in possession of various snap bags of cocaine and cannabis, worth between £1,010 and £1,160, and two mobile phones were seized. The phones were examined and it was revealed the defendant had supplied 56g of cocaine to an individual, which were valued between £2,650 and £4,300.

READ MORE:Drug dealer who made £38,000 finds out how much he must pay back

READ MORE: He was stopped while riding an E-bike and then everything went wrong

There was also a tick list which indicated the defendant was owed £8,148. It was said this sum equated to 81 individual deals of 1.75g of cocaine, with an estimated total weight of 141g. Prosecutor Megan Jones said the drugs were consistent with street dealing, due to the similar weights and packaging. Defence barrister Jeffrey Jones said the defendant argued some of this sum related to the sale of clothes, and not drugs.

Ashley Forbes, of Cefn Fforest Avenue, Cefn Fforest, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of cocaine and cannabis, and possession with intent to supply cocaine. The court heard he has two previous convictions, which are not related to drugs.

In mitigation, Jeffrey Jones said his client's designer clothing business had come to an end as a result of his remand in prison. The defence barrister said the shop was not performing well, which led to the defendant using drugs through anxiety due to the business building up debts. He said Forbes has a child with some health difficulties, to which the defendant provided much needed support.

Recorder David Elias KC sentenced Forbes to a total of three years imprisonment. He will serve half the sentence in custody before he is released to serve the remainder on licence.

This interactive tool allows you to check the latest crime statistics for your area: