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Friday, 29 August 2014

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Cumbrian mum who forgot she had drugs in freezer sent to jail

A woman who was “deeply embedded” in the drug culture of west Cumbria has been jailed for two years.

Michelle Cleaver, 36, pleaded guilty at Carlisle Crown Court to charges of possessing class A and B drugs with intent to supply them.

The court heard that on November 9 last year police searched her house on The Gardens, Whitehaven, and found some of the drugs in the freezer, as well as 312 tablets.

Prosecuting barrister Becky McGregor said Cleaver told police she “forgot” the drugs were in the freezer.

“Police also found numerous bags and scales in the kitchen cupboard,” she said.

She told police that they were ecstasy but tests revealed they were “duff tablets” containing benzylpiperazine, a less potent alternative.

Greg Hoare, defending, said: “She is someone who has been deeply embedded in the drug culture in the west of the county for some time.

“She has epilepsy and she is the first to accept thather lifestyle in the past has not done a great dealto assist with that condition.

“Her daughter will be significantly disadvantaged if her mother has to go to prison.

“She’s heading slowly in the right direction.”

Cleaver claimed she was storing the pills for a friend, but when questioned by Miss McGregor she refused to identify the man.

The court was told that the street value of the drugs when sold would have been more than £3,100.

Judge Paul Batty QC told Cleaver: “You told police that you were warehousing the tablets for another but I am not prepared to accept that this was warehousing.

“I have in mind your personal circumstances and you were living with your 17-year-old daughter when there were a lot of drugs in the house.

“You admit attempting to supply class A drugs believing these were ecstasy but in fact they were duff drugs.”

Judge Batty gave Cleaver a two-year sentence and 12-month sentence to run concurrently and ordered her to pay a £100 victim surcharge.

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