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Thursday, 23 October 2014

Windermere couple jailed for selling cocaine and cannabis

By Richard HarrisA MOTHER is today beginning a four-year prison sentence for drug dealing.

And her boyfriend is starting a three-year term after being caught helping her.

Maxine Turner, 41, and Craig Shepherd, 26, were arrested in October last year after drugs police raided their home in School Knott Drive, Windermere. Turner was arrested again four months later after police found she was still selling cannabis.

At Carlisle Crown Court on Thursday(THURS) Judge Paul Batty QC told her that the fact that she went on dealing even though she was on bail for the first offence was a “seriously aggravating” aspect of the case.

The couple, who both have children, pleaded guilty to conspiring together between August 1 and October 31 last year to supply both cocaine, a class A drug, and cannabis resin, which is class B.

Turner also admitted possessing cannabis resin with intent to supply it on February 25 this year.

Prosecutor Gerard Rogerson told the court that police who raided their home on October 13 found £720-worth of cocaine in a wooden box in the kitchen.

A police sniffer dog then found more than £9,000-worth of cannabis in a carrier bag hidden between two units in the kitchen. Turner had more than £2,000 in cash in her handbag, he said.

Mr Rogerson said that when the couple’s mobile phones were examined they were found to contain text messages from customers ordering drugs.

Both Turner and Shepherd pleaded guilty on the basis that, while they were primarily involved in supplying small quantities of cannabis they also occasionally sold cocaine to people they knew.

In mitigation defence advocate Chris Evans said the pair had started selling drugs because, as users themselves, they had amassed debts to their suppliers.

“As a result of the debts they were put under pressure and they decided to sell, particularly cannabis, to people they knew who used it,” he said. “It was not an extensive operation, but they did profit from what they were doing.”

Turner was sentenced to four years in prison, while Shepherd – who was said to have played a lesser role – got two years and 10 months for the drug dealing and an extra two months in respect of a sentence for causing grievous bodily harm to a woman, for which he had been given a suspended sentence in March 2010.

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