A hardup Watford grandmother who decided to deal in drugs has narrowly escaped going to jail today (Thurs).
Lorraine Woods had found herself homeless and on benefits when her marriage of 24 years came to an end last July.
Forced to “sofa surf” at the homes of friends and acquaintances, Woods was eventually persuaded to get involved as a street dealer in cocaine.
But she didn’t last long before coming to the attention of police officers.
Today St Albans crown court was told that acting on “intelligence” that had been gathered, officers stopped her in her car close to Bushey Arches on November 26 last year.
She immediately admitted what she was up to, telling the officers ”I may as well come clean” and produced seven wraps of white powder along with £487 in cash, mobile phones and a dealer’s list.
Today in court Woods, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to possession of the Class A drug with intent to supply.
She told police who had arrested her “I have never done it before. I was just hoping to earn a bit of money because I’ve split with my husband.”
The court heard the 45 year old grandmother had been left without a roof over her head after the breakup and was on job seekers allowance and finding it hard to make ends meet.
Miriam Smith, prosecuting, said that when she was stopped, Woods had just picked up the drugs from a location in Hempstead Road in Watford.
She would then be told where to take them and return with the money.
David Smithet, defending, said Woods was now extremely remorseful for getting involved and was determined never to find herself mixed up with drugs again.
He said she was not a user herself.
Recorder Jonathan Lee QC sentenced Woods to 20 months imprisonment, which was suspended for 18 months.
He ordered the money found on her should be forfeited and the mobile phone destroyed.
She was fined £350 and told she will be subject to a 10 day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement when she will be given help and supervision by probation staff.