Woman sold cannabis to fund her own habit

Swindon Advertiser: Swindon Crown Court Swindon Crown Court

A WOMAN who turned to drug dealing to fund her out of control cocaine habit has walked free from court.

Jho-Anne Wallace peddled skunk cannabis and a legal high called salvia as she sought to raise cash to pay for her own three gram a day addiction.

But after hearing the 33-year-old was now clean of all drugs and working for international company Ecolab, a judge imposed a suspended sentence.

Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court how police with a drugs warrant raided her house on Friday, March 22.

As well as the cannabis and cocaine officers also found four or five mobiles, money, scales and a large quantity of small self-seal bags.

On the phones they found about 16 contacts with text messages relating to the supply of skunk and another substance starting in November or December last year.

Miss Hingston said none of the terms relating to the trade in cocaine came up in the analysis and accepted the defendant's explanation that the other drug was salvia.

When she was questioned Wallace said she had been using cocaine for many years and on occasions got through three grams a day.

In order to fund that habit she turned to selling skunk and salvia, a legal drug like cannabis which also has hallucinogenic properties.

Wallace, of Buller Street, Gorse Hill, pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis with intent to supply and simple possession of cocaine.

She pleaded not guilty to possessing cocaine with intent to supply and prosecutors offered no evidence on that matter.

Rob Ross, defending, said his client had turned her life around since her arrest after seeking the help of drug treatment agencies.

“We see many people like this: people who wouldn’t otherwise get into trouble, who get into recreational drug use and their recreational drug use gets out of hand,” he said.

“They are in contact with dealers and sometimes, like this young woman did, she ends up supplying to friends.

“She is clear with me, in some ways this is the best thing that could have happened to her.

“It is stabilising her life and puts her back on track. She has not been in any sort of trouble before.

“She appears to be the sort of person who could take her own life by the scruff of the neck and turn her life around.

“I think this was a misguided lady who sought a silly way out of a desperate situation she was in.”

Mr Ross said Wallace had a job in the pricing department at global sanitary company Ecolab and had recently received a promotion, illustrating her progress.

Passing sentence Recorder Jonathan Fuller QC said: “I am quite persuaded by what I have read from the Swindon drugs services that you have made considerable efforts to get on top of your addiction. You must nevertheless appreciate that the supply of cannabis, even at the level you were dealing in it, crosses the custody threshold.”

He imposed a nine-month jail term suspended for two years and ordered she be under supervision of probation and a drug treatment agency for six months.

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