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Friday, 01 August 2014

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Heroin haul in loft was too hard to resist, woman tells Carlisle court

A woman told a court she just could not resist taking some of the heroin she found in her loft – even though she knew it could have killed her.

Related: Woman 'found' heroin stash among Christmas decorations - court

Marie Annette Martin, 42, suffers from emphysema, gets around in a wheelchair and had an oxygen cylinder with her to help her breathing as she gave evidence at Carlisle Crown Court.

But she said, the sight of the heroin she discovered at her home in Penrith was simply too much of a temptation.

“It was like bumping into an old friend on the street,” she told the jury. “I found it quite exciting. I felt I wanted to use some of it.”

Martin – who has admitted using heroin for most of the past 19 years – is on trial, accused of planning to sell the £3,000-worth of the class A drug police found at her home in Anchor Close, Penrith, in December 2011.

Martin has pleaded not guilty to a charge of possessing the heroin with intent to supply it.

She claims she did not even know the drug was in the house until she found it while “ratching through” boxes of Christmas decorations she kept in her loft.

She said it must have been left there by a male friend who, like her, was a long-time heroin user.

The mother-of-four told the jury yesterday that after finding the bag of heroin she put it in a kitchen drawer, away from her children.

She said that she was off drugs at that time, but admitted that over the next three days she gave into temptation and smoked some of it.

Martin, who has been so ill her doctors have considered giving her a lung transplant, admitted she was lucky to have survived the experience.

“Even though I was told I had only 18 months to live I still persisted,” she said. “I was taking a massive risk. I didn’t want to kill myself.”

Martin said she did not know what she had intended to do with the heroin, since she only wanted to use a bit of it.

But on December 19 a friend told her on the phone that “the place was full of police”, apparently heading for her house.

She said she panicked, ran – “as much as I could run” – to the kitchen, fetched the bag of heroin from the drawer and took it out into her garden, where a police officer saw her trying to throw it over the fence.

The trial continues.

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