Barnsley mother spared jail time for drug possession

A 52-year-old mother was handed a suspended sentence for drug possession with intent to supply.

Mandy Coles, from Athersley North, was found to have 3.7g worth of the synthetic drug ‘spice’ in her Radcliffe Road home in mid-November 2017, prosecutor Neil Coxon told Sheffield Crown Court.

South Yorkshire Police were granted a warrant to search Coles’ home on 17 November and found the cannabinoid in a supermarket carrier bag in her kitchen after being let into the property by her daughter, Mr Coxon said.

Police also found weighing scales and £2,215 in cash in Coles’ living room, indicating that she may have intended to sell the drug, he added.

Mr Coxon described Coles as a “low-level street dealer”, who made cash deposits into her daughter’s bank account.

Coles originally pleaded not guilty to possession of a Class B drug with intent to supply when she appeared at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court in February, but later changed her plea to guilty at Crown Court in March.

Defence solicitor Julian Brook said that drug dealing was “new territory for her”, adding that she was in thousands of pounds of debt and there was “a great deal of pressure from having adult-dependant children”.

One of her daughters – a single mother – suffers from cerebral palsy, the court heard, and she had no choice but to sell drugs “to make ends meet”.

Mr Brook added that Coles suffers from bereavement issues after the passing of her mother, was in an abusive relationship and “lives in a climate of fear in her own home”.

Judge Graham Reeds QC told the defendant that she has “unfortunate family circumstances” and added: “It was not your idea to set yourself up as a drug dealer.”

Judge Reeds gave Coles a nine-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months, adding that going to prison would have a “harmful impact” on her daughter.

Coles was also told to take 20 days of rehabilitation activity.

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