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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Ill woman told to quit heroin for sake of her children

A heroin addict has been told by a judge she needs to give up drugs for the sake of her children and her doctors after needing oxygen to help her breathe during her appearance at Carlisle Crown Court.

Marie Annette Martin, 42, has been so ill from several serious illnesses – including osteoporosis and emphysema – that her doctors have considered giving her a lung transplant.

At one time she was warned she had only 18 months to live.

But, the court heard, she has continued taking heroin, which only makes her condition worse.

Martin, a mother-of-four, was in court yesterday because police caught her with £3,000-worth of the class A drug at her home in Anchor Close, Penrith, just before Christmas in 2011.

She claimed that she did not even know the drug was there until she and her son found it while “ratching around” among the Christmas decorations they brought down from the loft.

She said it must have been put there by her partner, whom she knew was a drug user and who is now in prison.

And, though she admitted breaking off a bit that she smoked herself over the next few days, she said she had no intention of supplying the rest of it to anyone else.

During her trial last month did not dispute that she had the heroin in her possession – only that, as the prosecution claimed, she intended to pass it on to someone else.

She told the jury that she had been a heroin user for most of the past 20 years, and that though she sometimes managed to give it up for a short time she always went back to it. She was found not guilty of possessing heroin with intent to supply.

But yesterday she was back in court to be sentenced for possessing the drug for her own use, an offence she had always admitted.

Martin – who sat through the hearing holding a portable oxygen cylinder attached to a tube leading to her nose – was given a six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to undergo drugs rehabilitation.

Judge Peter Hughes QC told her it was “utter foolishness” to continue using heroin in her condition.

“You have been receiving devoted treatment from people concerned about your health, and you recognise that you owe it to your children to act responsibly and keep away from drugs,” he told her.

“Given the treatment you are receiving, it is not fair to them if you don’t keep your side of the bargain by failing to keep yourself healthy enough for the treatment to succeed.”

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