Woman spared jail after she is caught carrying drugs by Hartlepool doorman
A woman who was caught with drugs in her handbag at a nightclub has been spared an immediate jail term by a judge.
Judge Jonathan decided against sending Kelly Stokes to prison after learning how she had “had a a series of extremely difficult family circumstances”.
A doorman at what was named in court as the Hotwind Club, in Hartlepool, called police when he made the drugs discovery as Kelly Stokes, 42, tried to get access in the early hours of September 21, 2019.
She claimed that the drugs were her own medication.
But the cache included 57 morphine capsules, which are a Class A drug, Teesside Crown Court was told
Police found another 55 morphine tablets in a kitchen cupboard when they searched her home, said prosecutor Martin Towers
But there was no drugs paraphernalia or associated text messages on her phone which would have indicated low-level street dealing, he added
Ian Mullarkey, defending, asked the judge to pass a suspended sentence order after saying he had endured a life punctuated by tragedy.
He also said that she was willing to engage with assistance.
The judge, who read psychiatric, medical and pre-sentence reports on her, agreed that she had suffered traumas and tragedy.
Judge Carroll said: ”You have had a series of extremely difficult family circumstances in your life
”You have post traumatic stress disorder and tragically you have taken refuge in drugs.
“It is also tragic because you had access to mental health services at the time and you did not take the opportunity to avail yourself of them
”But you are still young enough if you engage with mental health services and drug treatment. You don’t have anything that indicates that you are somebody who can’t make things better with the right support and assistance.
”It seems to me that you deserve that chance. When you take that chance it is really in your hands, but I am going to take the opportunity to see if you can fix things.”
Stokes of Turnbull Street, Hartlepool, was given a two-year jail sentence, which was suspended for two years, with an order that 12 months drug rehabilitation and 50 days rehabilitation activities
She pleaded guilty to five charges of possession with intent to supply morphine and Class C drugs Alprozolam, Pregabalin and Gabapentin.