Drugs '˜mule' jailed for 40 months
A mother-of-three who was caught with a stash of drugs after police stopped a car has been jailed for 40 months.
Catherine Weighell was a passenger in a car which was stopped at 2am by officers on Thorndike Way, Gainsborough, a few days before Christmas.
Almas Ben-Aribia, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court: “The officers noticed a strong smell of cannabis and decided to carry out a search of the vehicle.
“Secreted in the rear seats was a plastic bag containing a number of packages.”
Miss Ben-Aribia said the packages contained drugs including 40gs of cocaine, 21gs of cannabis and 19gs of heroin, together with a smaller amount of crack cocaine.
“The drugs were not in individual deals. They were packaged in bulk,” she said.
“In a handbag found in the well of the passenger seat near to where the defendant had been sitting was found a set of digital scales.
“From the boot of the vehicle was found a roll of tin foil as well as some bicarbonate of soda.”
Miss Ben-Aribia said Weighell tried to grab a sports bag as she was being arrested.
The bag was found to contain over £300 in cash, plus a supply of small plastic self-seal bags.
Weighell, 37, of Market Place, Bawtry, admitted four charges of possession of drugs with intent to supply as a result of the incident on December 18.
Duncan Smith, in mitigation, said Weighell had been an addict but managed to control her habit for several years before a series of deaths in her family resulted in her drug taking increasing.
She got into debt with dealers and, he said, was forced into dealing.
Mr Smith said: “It is perfectly clear that this lady was under the control of some seriously bad people.
“To say that she was a mule is not to under-play the case.
“She says she was under terrible pressure to do this because of the drug debt she had to these people.
“The debt was being doubled on a daily basis and so it had no resemblance to the debt that she first got into.
“She was not a willing party. She was taken to a place where she had no escape.”