Despite being arrested on the day she was seen dealing in Stratford-upon-Avon, it was almost 18 months before the police got round to charging Rebecca Turner.
Turner, 26, has also been subjected to a 7pm-7am electronically-tagged curfew for six months, ordered to take part in a rehabilitation activity and to pay £340 costs after pleading guilty to possessing heroin and crack cocaine with intent to supply.
Prosecutor Victoria Lovett said that in June 2019 the police were called to an incident in Clopton Road, Stratford, at 3pm.
There was a report of an altercations between a group of about 10 people aged between 18 and 25, including Turner.
Officers learned that some of the group were there to buy drugs from Turner, who was detained and taken to Stratford police station for a strip search.
Once there, she was asked whether she had any drugs on her, at which she began to cry and confessed that she had a package concealed intimately.
The package was found to contain 42 wraps of crack cocaine and 31 on heroin, worth a total of £730 in street deals.
And her phone showed that around 40 minutes before the meeting in Clopton Road she had sent a ‘group message’ to 39 numbers advertising the availability of the two drugs.
When she was questioned, Turner claimed she did not know the other people, but that when they had heard sirens, one of them had passed her the package and told her to hide it.
She said she did not know what was in it, although she suspected it was drugs, and denied they were hers or that she was there to sell them, added Miss Lovett.
Referring to one of the character references handed in by Callum Church, defending, Recorder Jacob Hallam QC commented: “It was not a momentary lapse of character, it obviously required some planning.”
However, the judge at Warwick Crown Court heard that she has since turned her life around.
Mr Church said: “She was a woman who had very much hit rock bottom at the time, having been for a significant period of time the victim of abusive relationships.
“She had fallen, due to one of those, into severe money difficulties, and took the worst possible decision at that stage.
“Miss Turner knows that on any view of the sentencing guidelines she does not exit this court through the door through which she entered.
“But in the light of the progress she has made since then, I would invite the court to take an unusual course and pass a sentence which could be suspended.”
He pointed out Turner could have been charged on the day she was arrested, or certainly once the phone had been examined later that month – but it was another 18 months before she was actually charged.
“In that time she has been able to prove she can stay out of trouble and that she can turn her life around,” he added.
Recorder Hallam decided not to jail the 26-year-old, instead issuing a two-years prison sentence suspended for two years, as well as the curfew and rehabilitiation order
Sentencing Turner, he told her: “Having come out of an abusive relationship, you entered into a relationship which, in hindsight, was in its own way abusive.
“Certainly your then-partner took advantage of you, and your role was a limited one under his direction to pay off debts you owed. This was a foolish but illegal choice by you.
“It is difficult to see why it has taken so long for this relatively straight-forward case to be charged, and you have taken advantage of that time and have demonstrated how far away you are from the sort of lifestyle you were then in.”