A SERVING prisoner has been cleared of receiving a packet of drugs worth thousands of pounds in a "handshake and hug" encounter in HMP Berwyn jail.

Paul Davies, 45, mouthed "thank you" to jury members who found him not guilty of three charges after a two-day trial at Caernarfon Crown Court.

He left the dock to resume the remaining 14 months of a 2016 sentence in Berwyn for conspiracy to supply cocaine and heroin.

The jury retired for just an hour before announcing he was not guilty of possessing 11.5 grammes of synthetic cannabis - worth up to £11,300 and described by the prosecution as "in effect, Spice", 67 anarboric steroid tablets and 15 tablets of a synthetic opioid at the Wrexham prison in May last year.

Richard Edwards, prosecuting, said the drugs had been passed by Delwyn Billington, a co-defendant in 2016, who has pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of drugs and was awaiting sentence.

Davies told his barrister Anya Horwood it was "ridiculous" to suggest he and Billington had been acting jointly in the jail to supply drugs.

Davies, of Towyn in Conwy, hotly denied knowing that the package contained drugs and said he thought there were vapes inside.

He told the jury: "I've never dealt drugs in jail."

Davies said he had been clean of drugs every time he was tested in prison, was a "red-band trusty" and had been on a mentoring course to try to help victims of drugs, which had ruined his life since the age of 13.