Mercy for young mum 'forced' into drug dealing

External shot of courthouse

Exeter Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A Judge has shown mercy on a young North Devon mother who was 'forced' into drug dealing by an abusive partner.

Francesca Day was found with £728 worth of cocaine, heroin and cannabis and £1,130 cash during a police raid in 2019.

She told officers she was being exploited by an abusive ex-partner who had made her help him sell drugs.

Cutting agents were found at the house where she was living and there were drugs messages on her phone, including one which complained about the low quality of the product.

A Judge at Exeter Crown Court suspended her sentence after concluding she had played a lesser role and got involved because of a ‘menacing environment’ and her own abuse of drugs.

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Day, aged 32, of St Giles in the Wood, near Torrington, admitted three counts of possession with intent to supply and two of personal possession.

She was jailed for 20 months, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 15 days of rehabilitation activities by Judge Timothy Rose.

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He told her: "I have clearly reached the conclusion that you had been for some time in a vulnerable position and these offences do not represent the person you really are.

“You were in the grip of a serious addiction at the time and your family and personal circumstances had spiralled completely out of control.

“You were clearly very susceptible to the menacing environment created by other people who were taking advantage of you.

“You became involved because of pressure and intimidation at a time when you were certainly being exploited.

“You have quite literally turned your life around since then and come before the court as the true person you are and not the person who was in such terrible circumstances at the time.”

Miss Christine Hart, prosecuting, said police raided Day’s former home on April 28, 2019, and seized 3.49 grams of cocaine, 11 street deals of heroin with a total weight of 1.54 grams, 14.41 grams of heroin, and small amounts of ketamine and another rave drug.

They also found £1,130 cash which Day claimed initially was winnings from online gambling. In a later interview, she said he was holding the drugs for her abusive ex-partner.

Mr Nick Lewin, defending, said Day’s arrest led her to re-evaluate her life, stop using drugs, and concentrate on being a good mother while trying to improve herself through education and retraining.

He said: “She has metamorphosed from a rather grubby individual to become an impressive woman and an exemplary mother.”

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