A Bushey woman in her 60s who helped run a drug line from her home thanked a judge on Friday, February 17 for not sending her straight to prison.
Jacqueline Slowley, now 65, had not been in trouble with the police until she was one of a number held after the encrypted Encrochat network was cracked leading to the arrest of drug dealers.
St Albans Crown Court heard that she became involved through her partner Gary Pearce, who is serving a five years and three months sentence.
Prosecutor Matthew Kirk said Pearce was working for Scott Wells and Adam Mayling, who were running a drug line in Watford, Hertsmere, St Albans and Three Rivers. They are serving 15 and 14 years respectively.
Mr Kirk said Ms Slowley assisted her partner by taking calls and texts on the drug line and arranging for him to supply customers. From April to July 2020 she was being paid £100 a week.
Ms Slowley, of Farrington Avenue, Bushey, appeared for sentenced having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
Defending, Molly van Woodenberg said she had played a limited, lesser role under the direction of her ex-partner during the first Covid pandemic when she was suffering financially.
He said she had not been in trouble before or since and was a carer for her 88-year-old father.
Asking for a suspended sentence, Ms van Woodenberg said: “She was not charged until February last year – a year and a half after the investigation. She is a tail end Charlie.”
Recorder Gary Blaker KC agreed and passed a 24 month jail sentence suspended for 18 months. She must abide by an electronically-monitored curfew between 8pm and 8am for four weeks.
He told her: “You have gone through life without any previous offence. I very much hope and expect this will be the last.”
Jacqueline Slowley replied: “Thank you.”