After losing his home and business in the Covid pandemic, a recruitment consultant became a drug dealer

Police discovered a message Robert Hicks left on his phone minutes before his arrest.

After losing his home and business in the Covid pandemic, a recruitment consultant became a drug dealer

Police discovered a message Robert Hicks left on his phone minutes before his arrest. It asked how long he would wait because others were still waiting for their drugs.

After losing his home and business in the Covid pandemic, a successful recruitment consultant turned to Class A drugs to help him make ends meet and support his young children.

Robert Hicks was found with a stash cocaine deals and hundreds in cash when officers raided his car in a parking lot. Officers found a message he received minutes before asking him how long it would take for his delivery to arrive.

Swansea Crown Court was told by the defendant's advocate that Hicks had once said to him that he believed that getting involved with the supply of drugs was his worst decision.

Brian Simpson, the prosecutor, stated that on March 23, police arrived in unmarked vehicles on Swansea's Carmarthen Road to pursue a car seen weaving in and out of traffic heading towards the city center. Officers followed the car on High Street, then to the parking lot near the castle. According to the court, officers identified themselves when the target vehicle was stopped. The 31-year-old defendant Hicks was sitting in the front passenger seat. A bag containing crack cocaine wraps and cash, as well as a scale and weighing scales was at his feet. A jacket with more cocaine and a crackpipe was found in the back seat.

Hicks was arrested along with the male driver of Hicks' car. Hicks' house was searched by officers who found 19g cocaine in the kitchen and a satchel with another 2.7g cocaine. The court also learned that Hicks used the satchel to stash half-a-kilo caffeine and paracetamol powder, which were both popular drugs for "cutting" or bulking out cocaine. According to the prosecutor, police found messages from the defendant's phone relating to supply drug over the past week. One of these messages was a question about Hicks's plans to stay in the country as the contact had people waiting. The defendant refused to comment. Next: A Swansea hotel room was used as a drug and heroin dealer.

Robert James Hicks of Cwm Clyd and Waunarlwydd in Swansea had previously pleaded guilty for possessing cocaine with intent to deliver when he appeared at the dock via videolink. He has been convicted of eight previous offences, including the most recent for a public matter in 2013.

Dan Griffiths for Hicks stated that a brief custodial sentence Hicks served in 2013 was a turning point. He had since moved to the south east and worked as a consultant in recruitment after his release. Hicks, he said, had excelled in his career and was quickly promoted and given responsibility for several lucrative accounts before launching his own company. The advocate claimed that the Covid pandemic decimated his business, which then collapsed. This led to debts that forced Hicks to move back to Swansea. Griffiths stated that his client worked as a carpenter for a construction firm, but then suffered an industrial injury from falling from a window. He was living in a "squalid" flat, suffering from depression and being pursued for outstanding debts. The advocate claimed Hicks then began to supply drugs to "make ends meet and provide for these two young children".

He said that the father of two had made it very clear in conference that drug dealing was "the worst decision of my life". His client's partner, on the other hand, was still processing what had happened and was trying to come to terms with the fact that their baby had to be taken to Swansea prison in order to see him.

Hicks was told by Judge Geraint Walters that although his business collapsed during the pandemic, it wasn't his fault. However, he had made a mistake in engaging in drug dealing to escape his situation. He had also jeopardised his freedom and the dignity of his child and partner who were left to pick up the pieces. He stated that those who sell Class A drugs and cause misery to addicts and their communities must understand the message and will be sent to prison.

Hicks was sentenced with a one-quarter discount to his guilty plea. He will spend three years in prison. Hicks will spend half of that time in prison before being released to continue his community service. Hicks was ordered by the judge to give the money seized at his arrest to South Wales Police for their efforts in tackling the drug trade.

The court heard that the driver of the vehicle in which defendant was traveling was being investigated and was released.

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