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Former soldier jailed after being caught bringing £20,000 of meow meow into Swansea

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: January 04, 2013

By ruth Mosalski

Scales of Justice
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A FORMER soldier who was caught bringing £20,000 of the illegal drug meow meow into Swansea has been jailed.

Jamie Birmingham was stopped by police on October 26 as he travelled along the M4 near Llandarcy and officers found the drugs, with a street value of £20,000 in a pillow case on the front seat.

He was arrested as part of a weekend of raids by South Wales Police in October, where they recovered £250,000 of drugs including cocaine, amphetamine, ecstasy and meow meow from homes in Llansamlet, Neath and Portmead.

At the time, officers said it was one of their biggest hauls.

Birmingham also admitted a second identical charge of possessing drugs with intent after he was found with them at his home in Walters Road, Neath, in June. It was on June 22 that officers on duty in Neath saw Birmingham, 30, driving a Ford Focus.

Prosecutor Creighton Harvey said: "They followed the defendant and as they followed him, it appeared he was fiddling or tampering with something. The officers stopped the vehicle and recovered a bag containing white powder from inside the sleeve of the handbrake."

Those drugs had a value of £120 and two further packets were found, one in his car and another in his clothes.

Officers then searched his home and found he had a plastic bag containing drugs worth up to £1,000.

He was bailed for this offence, before being re-arrested in October.

James Hartson, representing Birmingham, said his client had served in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Kosovo, played amateur football and coached children's teams.

"Having served his country so well, it's therefore only further shame upon him that he has involved himself in drugs," said Mr Hartson.

Judge Keith Thomas, sitting at Swansea Crown Court, said: "This is a drug which has become more widespread throughout this area in recent months. It's causing serious problems in terms of its effect on people."

He jailed Birmingham for eight months for the June offence, and consecutive terms of 16 months for the October offence and eight weeks for breaching a suspended sentence.

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  • Hedoken97842  |  January 06 2013, 6:48PM

    To be honest a lot of soldiers in the army etc only do it because they could not do anything else. This notion that I am supposed to respect all soldiers is nonsense, we have no business being over there in the first place so I dont think they are saving my life, and they are only making it worse, you will never win. I also know that many soldiers are complete idiots as people with little or no morals. We need to pull out, stop the hideous abuse of immigration and comb through the millions of dangerous trash we have here already.

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  • brochadav  |  January 06 2013, 3:47PM

    Conker, they turn to using drink or drugs. Becoming a dealer, runner is rarely something caused by PTS. You have to be alert and clever for that. PTS causes depression, manic at times, stress, paranoia and a whole host of other problems. PTS sufferers can hardly communicate let alone organise importing drugs.

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  • Dr_Conker  |  January 05 2013, 4:24PM

    Perhaps he was victim of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after his stint as a hero, fighting bravely for his country in various countries? Many ex squaddies suffering from "combat stress" turn to drink or drugs- others kill themselves. Young conscripts are not taught the risks when they enrol - or how the country will turn their back on them once they have served their purpose

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  • antyall  |  January 04 2013, 2:09PM

    All that good service to your country,all you will be remembered for is a drug smuggler.

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  • brochadav  |  January 04 2013, 10:00AM

    Jiffy, I have only ever noticed you complain and/or be negative, get a life mate. This is alarming, as an ex soldier he should be well aware drug money sustains terrorists as well as criminals. His crime is helping to buy weapons that kill former comrades, quite shocking.

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  • Jiffy  |  January 04 2013, 8:35AM

    I'm quite concerned that the police have "recovered" such huge amount of drugs? Can they please explain how they lost them in the first place?

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