A WOMAN caught carrying crack cocaine into Kendal has been spared immediate prison by a judge who concluded she was “vulnerable” and “coerced” into committing the crime.
Liverpool woman Terri Pearson, 29, travelled by train to Oxenholme on January 10 with two balls of crack cocaine hidden on her person. She had earlier been punched on a Merseyside doorstep after telling her attacker she couldn’t repay a £400 drug debt owed by her partner, who was in prison.
Police seeking to disrupt illegal county lines substance supply saw her taking a taxi from Oxenholme station to Bonner Court in Kendal where known drug addicts were waiting with cash in hand, ready for an apparent drug deal, Carlisle Crown Court was told today (MON).
Pearson was arrested and found with 20 wraps of crack cocaine and a knife. She later admitted possessing the class A drug with intent to supply and having a bladed article. She later told police she was pressured to make the trip with a man, saying: “I only agreed to do this because of the violence and threats of violence I received from this male. I was scared.”
After hearing detailed mitigation, Recorder Lawrence McDonald gave Pearson a two-year jail term which, exceptionally, he suspended for 18 months.
“I accept you were coerced into carrying out this offence,” concluded the judge. “It seems to me this is a case where you were in a vulnerable position and this was exploited by others.”
Pearson, of Farrar Street, Clubmoor, Liverpool, must complete a three-month night-time curfew, 100 hours’ unpaid work and a rehabilitation requirement.