A GRANDMOTHER resorted to selling drugs to keep money-lenders off her back, a court heard.
Before she was caught with more than £200 of amphetamine, Hartlepool woman Dawn Ryan had not been in trouble for 20 years, apart from a minor offence in 2001.
A Teesside Crown Court judge spared Ryan jail after hearing she is sole carer for her granddaughter and she had never committed drugs offences before.
But the judge warned her that if there is any repeat of the offences, she will then be jailed.
Police raided the 48-year-old’s home in Joicey Court and Ryan was seen to throw a plastic bag into the garden.
Prosecuting, Emma Atkinson told the court: “That was subsequently seized and a total weight of 21.503g of amphetamine with a street value of £215.03 was subsequently recovered.”
The court heard the drug was in three separate weights and a set of digital scales and five cut pieces of cling film were also found.
In police interview, Ryan said she bought the drugs for £80 and admitted throwing them in the garden.
She also admitted she supplied some of the drug to a woman who was in her home at the time of the raid.
That woman was charged with possession of amphetamine and received a 12-month community order and two-month curfew.
Ryan admitted supplying amphetamine and possession of amphetamine with intent to supply on February 2.
Ian Mullarkey, mitigating, said Ryan had sole care of her young granddaughter because of “family difficulties”.
He added: “During that time she has shown a great deal of love and affection towards that young child who effectively looks at her now as a mother.
“It was because of her financial difficulties that Ms Ryan began this misguided attempt to repay a money lender who was threatening violence towards her.
“She regrets very deeply that she devised this scheme.
“She regrets very deeply her involvement in this offence.”
Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Peter Fox, told Ryan: “You will know that for pushing drugs, nearly everyone goes straight to prison.
“But I am not going to do that in this case.
“I have decided not to pass a suspended imprisonment sentence because I think you are capable of putting this behind you.
“You are 48, you have never been in trouble for drugs before and I understand the circumstances which led you into temptation on this occasion.
“But it’s got to stop.
“If it doesn’t it will be prison next time, bear that in mind.”
Ryan was sentenced to a two-year community order with supervision.