Teenage dealer held her baby over balcony during Shrewsbury drug raid
A teenage drug-dealing mother held her baby over the balcony at her Shrewsbury flat during a police drugs raid.
Almost £2,000 in cash was seized by police from the young mother’s squalid home that was being used as a base by drug dealers.
A judge heard that the defendant was aged 19 when officers went to search the smelly first floor Shrewsbury property in April last year.
When the officers arrived they also discovered quantities of cannabis, cocaine, traces of heroin, plastic bags used to package illicit drugs for sale, two digital scales, £1,845.92 in cash and two mobile phones.
Prosecuting barrister Mr Robert Edwards told Shrewsbury Crown Court: “When the police officers opened the door it was secured by a chain. It was then shut by someone inside. The officers used equipment to force it open.
“They became were aware of two unidentified men escaping via the balcony. They then saw the defendant hold her 18-month-old baby over the balcony and shout to someone below to catch the child.
“The officers told her to stop and not to drop the baby to the person.
“The flat was in a dreadful state. There was a strong smell of urine and stench from a sewage leak. Rubbish was strewn around the flat.”
He said analysis of the phones highlighted messages showing that she was involved in dealing.
Following her arrest her children were taken into care.
But mitigating on her behalf, barrister Mr Paul Smith said the cash and equipment did not belong to the defendant, but to others involved in the operation.
Mr Smith said: “This was at the very lowest end of drug dealing. She was young at the time and her children came along.
“Since the offences she has made efforts to make amends. She says she has been drug-free for some time. I would invite the court not to put her in custody so that she can have continuity with the children.”
He said the defendant who cannot be named for legal reasons had behaviour problems as a schoolgirl and spent time in care.
Sentencing her, Judge Peter Barrie said: “You know how serious this is because your children have been taken away. You were 19 at the time of these offences and I have heard a great deal about your background and upbringing.
“I know that you have faced some challenges. I hope and believe that over the last 18 months that you have grown up and developed maturity.”
Now aged 21, the defendant admitted an offence of being concerned in the supply of cocaine, an offence of being concerned in the supply of cannabis and two offences of child neglect.
She was sentenced to a total of 14 months custody, suspended for 18 months. She must attend 30 rehabilitation activity days and do 18 hours unpaid work in the community.
Judge Barrie also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the drugs and paraphernalia, and confiscation of the cash.
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