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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

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Carlisle woman sold drugs to fund her own habit

A Carlisle woman caught dealing drugs has been spared jail after a court heard how she had battled drug use for decades.

Alison Dunne, 48, of Newtown Close, Raffles, was caught with 28 grams (just under one ounce) of amphetamine on Tuesday January 28.

Carlisle Crown Court heard that she had driven down Shadygrove Road, Raffles, and then pulled up outside a house at around 11.40pm. Police were parked nearby. A woman came out from the property and approached the car.

“This caused a degree of suspicion in the police officers,” said Tim Evans, prosecuting.

“They saw an amount of money change hands and decided to see what was going on.”

Officers searched Dunne and found her to have £100 in cash as well as the drugs.

Officers also seized her mobile phone and found several texts connected to drug deals. Later, they searched her home and found a set of scales, which had traces of amphetamine on them.

Dunne was charged with possession with intent to supply a class B drug and had pleaded guilty to this at an earlier hearing.

Mr Evans explained that Dunne had a long-standing problem with drugs, dating back to her teenage years and had been dealing to fund her own habit. He added that she also suffered from mental health problems and had had a traumatic childhood.

He also said because of these issues and her age, she had an “unusual profile” for someone charged with dealing drugs and reports on her had been prepared on her as a result.

Mark Shepheard, defending, said Dunne was seeking help for her problems and that she should be spared jail to help her deal with these. He added: “More work needs to be done to understand the underlying problems in this case.”

Judge Barbara Forrester, presiding, said: “You have had many problems in your life that were not of your making.”

She sentenced Dunne to 20 weeks in prison but suspended this for one year. She also ordered Dunne to pay a victim surcharge of £80.

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