A FORMER heroin-dealing granny who stashed bags of drugs down her bra has been spared jail after becoming clean.
Antoinette Heap (49), an addict for 20 years, had a £200-a-week habit she could not afford on her fortnightly £120 benefits, so she bought heroin in bulk and had sold to known users to pay for her own supply. Burnley Crown Court had earlier heard treatment for her hepatitis B condition meant she could not take painkillers, and she had taken heroin to give her relief.
Judge Jonathan Gibson had given Heap five months to prove she was fighting addiction and keep out of trouble. A mother of two, she had already served three years in jail.
The court was told she was now drug-free and no longer needed to commit crime. He told her: “It seems to me you have complied with what I asked you to do when I deferred sentence.”
Heap, of Pine Street, Burnley, had earlier admitted possessing heroin with intent to supply, possessing amphetamine and cocaine and had asked for an offence of possessing heroin with intent to supply to be considered. Judge Jonathan Gibson, who had deferred sentence in January, gave her 12 months in jail, suspended for 18 months and an 18-month conditional discharge. He also imposed a 10pm and 6am curfew for eight weeks.
The court had earlier been told that when Heap was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting, last November, police found 26 wraps of heroin, worth £260, in her clothes. A wrap of cocaine fell from her jumper and several bags were found in her bra. Traces of heroin were found on digital scales at her home, along with £120.
On Tuesday, the court was told how Heap had complied with the conditions of the deferred sentence – she had kept in touch with Inspire.
Mr Ken Hind (defending) said Heap had kept in touch with help and co-operated with drugs treatment from her GP and a health and wellbeing programme.
“Being drug-free, she no longer has to commit offences of dishonesty to feed her habit,” said Mr Hind.
“Neither does she need to be involved in any drugs trafficking.”