A WALLET containing crack cocaine found outside a city supermarket was traced back to the owner using a bank card.

Daniel Beard was subject to a conditional discharge in relation to possession of cannabis when his wallet was found outside Asda in St Martin's Gate and passed onto police.

A bank card inside the wallet with the 30-year-old's name on it was used by officers to identify the owner before he was arrested.

Elaine Atkinson, defending, asked the court to give her client the"benefit of the doubt" as he had turned to drugs while going through a temporary rough patch, but is now clean.

She complained that the case had taken months to come before the court during yesterday's hearing, with the incident having taken place on February 26.

"It's not entirely clear why this matter [took so long] to come to court," she told magistrates. "There seems to be no logical reason."

The court heard Beard, of Canal Side, Worcester, was in breach of the discharge given to him in the same month.

Ms Atkinson argued that it was an "early breach" and "not a breach [that's] gone on a long time and [he's] breached it".

She went on to say the defendant was suffering "personal difficulties" with his long-term partner and "I am afraid he succumbed to taking drugs".

"Things were not good," she continued, but emphasised he has been clean for four or five months and "he does not seem to be the sort of person who is a long-term drug user".

Just prior to the hearing starting, the solicitor became aware of her client's conditional discharge thanks to prosecutor Shafquat Reaz, before liaising with Beard again while he stood in the dock.

"I can’t now ask for a conditional discharge," she told the court. "He said he had not appreciated there was this conditional discharge at the time."

Beard receives over £300 a month in Universal Credit and lives with his mum, who he pays board to.

"I would ask for you to give him the benefit of the doubt," she said. "His situation has calmed down. "He is no longer a young man, he is coming into maturity and he needs to sort himself out."

She added Beard has had community orders in the past and "these have not been breached", while the February discharge has now expired.

Mr Reaz said a "random member of the public" had found a wallet in St Martin’s Gate and handed it to a staff member at Asda.

He said, the staff member then found cash and a 0.24g shot of crack cocaine, as well as a bank card "relating to the defendant".

The court heard Beard already owes the court £510 in arrears and this has now been referred to the bailiffs.

Chair of the bench, Brent Robinson, told him "crack cocaine is not the future" and he hoped he remained on the straight and narrow.

For the crack cocaine possession, he was fined £120 and £40 for the cannabis due to the discharge breach.

He was also ordered to pay £185 towards court costs, and a £30 victim surcharge.

Beard agreed to pay off the costs at fines at a rate of £5 a week.