Drug dealer given a chance to achieve offence-free aim

A WOMAN who dealt drugs escaped a prison sentence after the Royal Court was told of her positive efforts to get ‘offence-free’.

(Picture by Sophie Rabey, 30275151)
(Picture by Sophie Rabey, 30275151)

Rachael Lynda Smith, 29, who admitted two charges of supplying cannabis or cannabis resin to another, will have to do the maximum of 240 hours of community service instead

Prosecuting advocate Jenny McVeigh told the court the charges stemmed from three separate investigations.

On 21 January, the defendant had telephoned police to report an unconnected matter. While on the phone she was heard to ask someone to ‘make me a bong.’

As a result of this a drugs search warrant was executed at the property though cannabis found there was attributed to another. Her iPhone was seized and she gave police the passcode to it.

On 19 February, another drug search warrant was executed. Part of a birthday card that was recovered was made from a synthetic cannabinoid.

Though no further action was taken on that, another phone belonging to the defendant was seized and accessed using the same passcode that she had given in January.

On 20 March, Smith was one of four occupants in car that was stopped by police. A total of 77.5 grams of cannabis was found in the vehicle though it was not attributed to her.

At the time she asked why she was being arrested for something she had not done. A third phone was seized for which she volunteered the passcode to police.

Messages recovered from the phones showed that the defendant had been involved in the supply of cannabis or cannabis resin. The phone seized from the car showed evidence of this which dated from 27 April 2020 and made the basis of count one. Count two spanned the period from 16 January this year to 18 March.

She had one relevant conviction for possessing a controlled drug. Other matters on her record were mostly drink related and included disorderly behaviour, assaulting police and being found drunk in a public place.

Advocate Samuel Steel, representing Smith, said count one involved a single conversation on a single day when his client had agreed to provide a friend with one gram of cannabis.

She was no criminal mastermind and all of the evidence had come from her mobile phones using access codes which she had provided to police.

This had been a small scale operation via text and social media to contacts in her network. She had not created a drug empire.

He told of his client’s traumatic childhood experiences and how she had first used cannabis as teenager in order to cope.

Another example of this was drinking herself into oblivion which had led to her arrest in the past.

Police officers would say she was polite and kind when sober and had a good sense of humour. She had been forced to give up her Guernsey Housing Association home of two years in light of these convictions and had sold her furniture.

She had now learned to trust the Probation Service. Its staff were very supportive and said his client was heading in the right direction on what would be a lengthy journey.

She had cut the negative influences from her life and he asked the court to give her a chance.

Delivering the court’s sentencing remarks, Judge Catherine Fooks said there were no quantifiable amounts [of drugs] in this case but they would have been small.

Guilty pleas had been entered in timely fashion and the mitigation put forward had been powerful and compelling.

The court had also read the letter from the defendant. It noted her struggle with drugs and alcohol and that the Probation Service thought progress was being made.

She had demonstrated remorse and been exceptionally open with Probation officers.

She was keen to work with the Probation Service and motivated to be offence-free which was to her credit.

She posed a risk of harm to the community with her drug dealing, but the greater risk of harm was to herself.

As well as the community service order, which was a direct alternative to 18 months in prison, an 18-month probation order was imposed and the destruction of the three mobile phones ordered.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More From The Guernsey Press

UK & International News