Woman admits dealing class A drugs - but says she was forced to do it
A 49-year-old woman from Bury St Edmunds has pleaded guilty to dealing cocaine and heroin - but claims she was forced into it at knifepoint.
Christine Hamilton, of Ridley Road, appeared at Suffolk Magistrates' Court in Ipswich on Tuesday, September 3, charged with possession with intent to supply heroin and cocaine and being concerned with the supply of morphine and diazepam.
She pleaded guilty to all charges.
Prosecuting, Ian Devine said Hamilton had wraps of heroin and cocaine on her when she was arrested by police in Bury St Edmunds.
He added when her home was searched, messages were discovered on a mobile phone in the property that implicated Hamilton in the drug dealing.
He said: "In short, the evidence can be summarised as this.
"She was observed dealing drugs and when detained by police she had ten wraps of cocaine and six wraps of heroin in her possession, along with £255 in cash.
"A phone was seized from the coffee table in the lounge which contained dealer messages.
"The messages on the phone can be attributed to her.
"In interview, admissions were made that someone else was living at her address and she was coerced into drug dealing for that person.
"She is dealing, it is for cash - she is effectively a street dealer."
Representing Hamilton, Michael Whatley told the court that his client had been 'cuckooed' and forced to sell the drugs by someone who had moved into her home.
He said: "Her partner had suggested one of his friends, who was homeless, come and stay for a few days.
"She allowed him to do that but her partner caught him taking drugs so he said he couldn't stay there any more.
"Unfortunately, her partner went to prison for a breach of a suspended sentence order for six weeks and during that time this person turned up with a dealer.
"She was forced to go and deal the drugs at knifepoint."
Magistrates said their powers were not sufficient to adequately sentence Hamilton so sent the case to Ipswich Crown Court.
A pre-sentence report was ordered ahead of Hamilton's sentencing.
She was released from custody on unconditional bail.