Criminals in Pembrokeshire are receiving lighter sentences because of delays in taking them to court, a judge warned today.

Judge Paul Thomas said "it was time it dawned" on the police and the Crown Prosecution Service that offenders were not getting what they deserved.

He was speaking at Swansea crown court as he told drug dealer Guy Bedford that his jail term would be reduced because it had taken almost 18 months to arrive at a sentencing hearing.

Bedford, 22, had been arrested after police executed a search warrant at his home in Fleming Crescent, Haverfordwest on December 24, 2017.

Officers found a small quantity of cannabis but also £1,495 in cash, which made them suspect he had been dealing.

Stephen Rees, prosecuting, said officers seized his mobile telephone but it took eight months for the results of analysis to come back.

That confirmed he had been dealing in ecstasy.

Bedford, who had previous convictions for drugs offences, admitted supplying ecstasy and possessing cannabis.

His barrister, Dyfed Thomas, asked the judge to reduce the sentence because of the length of time he had been waiting to learn of his fate.

During that time his partner had become pregnant and Bedford would miss the birth of his child.

Judge Thomas said the starting point was four and a half years.

His guilty plea earned him a reduction to three years and four months.

But Judge Thomas cut that to two and a half years "because of the delay and his age."

"One day it will dawn on the police and the CPS that defendants will not get the sentences they richly deserve.

"These cases are taking far too long, particularly in Dyfed.

"My displeasure will be made known," he added.

Judge Thomas added that "time after time" defendants were waiting 18 months and more to be sentenced.

He said he was aware of the pressure both organisations were under.

People who dealt in Class A drugs, he said, would receive sentences measured in years and not months, but delays would lead to reductions.