A MUM who admitted dealing cannabis from her Sheffield home has walked free from court after a judge said sending her to jail would not be justice.
Sentencing Sarah Louise Hull to a suspended prison sentence, Judge Simon Lawler QC said he was not jailing her immediately because it was an ‘unusual, perhaps exceptional’ case.
The court heard the 32-year-old mum of a 16-year-old boy was forced to deal cannabis after being threatened by a drug dealer who was owed cash by her ex partner.
Danny Simpson, defending, said the debt was forced on to Hall after her partner ‘did a flit’ with the dealer’s drugs, and she had to sell cannabis to repay the debt.
He said: “She was simply too terrified to tell the police and get help.”
Mr Simpson said Hall’s partner had fled because he owed thousands of pounds.
He said: “As is the way with the drug world, they demanded that she was responsible for the debt.”
Mr Simpson said on one occasion the dealers had kicked in her door.
David Wain, prosecuting, said police raided Hall’s home in Whinacre Place, Beighton, Sheffield, on October 10 last year.
They found 278g of cannabis with a street value of £2,780, scales and £25 in cash.
He said she initially told police in interview the drugs were for her own personal use.
“She accepted that she had been selling the drug to pay off a drugs debt which she had incurred from a previous partner who owed several thousand pounds,” he said.
“It’s fair to say she wasn’t living a lavish lifestyle and had been selling it to friends in £10 and £20 deals.”
The court heard at the time she was dealing, Hall was the subject of a suspended jail term for assault and criminal damage.
Mr Simpson said: “Both offences relate to her personal circumstances and the relationship she had got into at the time.
“That partner is plainly someone who subjected her to emotional and physical abuse.”
Hall admitted supplying cannabis and possessing cannabis with intent to supply.
Extending her original suspended jail term until February next year and imposing a 24 week sentence, suspended for 12 months, the judge also made her the subject of a supervision order and told her to do 80 hours unpaid community work.
He said: “Normally an immediate custodial sentence would follow but I am trying to look at this matter in the round and it seems to me that punishing you by sending you to custody would be wrong and it would not be justice.”