23 November 2010, 10:13
A woman drugs runner who walked into a police station and handed herself in along with wraps of cocaine and heroin she was supposed to sell was told by a crown court recorder she had shown "guts and courage."
Sarah Cassidy, 20, had around £2,000 worth of Class a drugs on her when she walked into Watford Police Station.
St Albans crown court was told that since turning her back on the drugs world she had lived in fear and now rarely left her home.
Sentencing her to 12 months supervision Recorder John Gallagher said he might be criticised for passing a non-custodial sentence but he said he believed he was right to take a lenient course.
He told Cassidy "You made the decision on your own to fess up and that took courage for a person of your age."
She pleaded guilty to supplying crack cocaine with intent, possessing a Class A drug with intent to supply and possessing heroin with intent to supply.
The court heard Cassidy had met a dealer she knew socially in a park in Watford earlier this year and "half in jest" had asked him if there were any jobs going.
Andrew Lewis prosecuting said to her surprise she received a call the following day saying work was available.
They met up and he showed her how to cut drugs and instructed her to always take money before handing over the wraps of cocaine and heroin.
She was, the court heard, to be a runner, going where directed to make deals.
Mr Lewis said she was selling between 90 and 90 wraps a week at £20 a time.
The prosecutor said for her efforts she was paid between £20 and £30 a week as she was still "training."
However, when she lost around 30 wraps she found herself working just to clear her debts to the dealer.
She incurred more debts to him when she gave away another batch of drugs to a woman who asked for them on credit, but who then failed to to pay her
The court heard by August of this year Cassidy found herself having to make up the price of 150 wraps at £20 a wrap.
Recorder Gallagher was told that having been supplied with drugs she was supposed to "cut" for £20 deals, Cassidy of Barclay Close, Watford decided to give herself up and walked into the police station on August 20 this year with her entire "stock" of heroin and crack cocaine.
Neil Mercer defending said it was "almost unheard of" what she'd done by handing herself in the police.
"She decided enough is enough, what I am doing is wrong," he said.
He said it had taken enormous courage by Cassidy to go the the police and she was now afraid of intimidation
"It's almost unique what she did and the entire case is founded on her going to the police station."
She was sentenced to 12 months supervision and told she must carry out 40 hours of unpaid work. In addition she must complete a 25 day education and employment programme