Bideford woman pleads for magistrates to give her prison sentence

17:23 20 June 2014

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple


Magistrates grant drug user’s wish to rehabilitate behind bars

MAGISTRATES granted a Bideford woman’s wish to be sent to prison in an attempt to end a long-standing drug problem.

Josie Anne Dawson, 29, of Westcroft Court pleaded guilty to two charges of class A drug possession at North Devon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Dawson carried several plastic carrier bags containing her belongings with her into the court, convinced that she would be given a custodial sentence after telling the probation service that she wouldn’t be prepared to cooperate with a community order.

She was also in breach of a suspended sentence, given to her in October 2012 for benefit fraud.

Police executed a warrant at Dawson’s former address, in Hyfield Place, on March 4, finding several plastic wraps containing 0.58grams of heroin and 1.32g of crack cocaine, with a street value of just under £200.

Defence solicitor Sara Svensson said Dawson was ‘very realistic about the likely outcome of today’s proceedings’.

“She is asking to go to prison and says she needs to go to sort her situation out and come out with a clean slate,” she said.

Mel Wright, for the probation service, told magistrates that Dawson had failed to cooperate with community orders handed to her in the past.

Sitting magistrate Commander Jackson said: “normally this offence would not warrant a custodial sentence, however given your track record and lack of compliance we will accept that you are likely to do this again.”

Dawson was given a 12 week continuous prison sentence; eight weeks for the drug possession offences and four weeks for her previous benefit fraud.

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