Bar managers were found with cans of nitrous oxide when they were detained by police. Phones containing messages showing that they had handled these boats were also found with them.

Stefan Ramsden, 31, was driving his white Audi A3 in Newport on November 11 last year, with Troy Boyer, 31, as a passenger, when they were pulled over by police who suspected them of dealing drugs. They stopped on Aberthaw Road when Bowyer got out of the car and tried to enter the house, but he and Ramsden were stopped.

At a sentencing hearing at Cardiff Crown Court on Thursday, they allegedly found money which they said was taken from a pub they operated. During the search in the car, the police found 12 boxes of nitrous oxide, a psychoactive substance. The total value of the cases ranged from £120 to £180. Two more shells were found in the car, as well as a shell later found in Boyer’s home.

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Prosecutor Nick Strobl said a black Nokia phone was taken from Boyer and another phone was taken from inside the car. From the November 11 telephone messages, it appears that the defendants demanded or arranged for the supply of nitrous oxide boxes.

Both men were arrested with Ramsden, of Aberthaw Road, claiming the nitrous oxide was for his personal use, while Bowyer, of Aberthaw Drive, had no comment. Both later pleaded guilty to selling and possessing with intent to supply a psychoactive substance.

The court heard that Bowyer had nine convictions, including assault and possession of Class B drugs. Ramsden has three previous convictions, including possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and intimidation of a witness, for which he was arrested for 36 months.

As a mitigating factor, Jenny Yeo, for Boyer, said that her client was running the bar at the time of the crime with her co-defendant and that money found on them was taken from the bar. As a result of this process, they lost the lease on the bar, went into debt, and became unemployed. She said the defendant has two young children, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder due to the murder of his friend and the death of his father, and needs to have his kneecap removed due to injuries sustained in a car accident. At the time he committed the crime, he was providing services to the community.

Hashim Salman, representing Ramsden, said his client also has young children and has been diagnosed with anxiety, depression and ADHD, as well as complex mental health issues and self-harm. He said the defendant made a serious suicide attempt in 2018 but was now in a stable and proper relationship. The lawyer said Ramseden was on leave at the time of the crime and was called into custody.

Handing down the sentence, Judge Matthew Porter-Bryant said: “This was a sort of crime of opportunity because through a business, namely a pub, he identified himself and bought an opportunity to obtain nitrous oxide through the business. … You have shown little understanding … of the effects of nitrous oxide on people and the dangers associated with it”.

Ramsden was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 18 months and required to complete a 15-day rehabilitation activity. Bowyer was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for 18 months and required to complete a 15-day rehabilitation activity. Both were ordered to pay £200 in costs.

Source: Wales Online