Daventry mum avoids jail over Northampton drug-dealing after 'revolutionising' her life in years since
Domestic violence victim was exploited and pressured into selling cocaine and ecstacy in 2018, court hears
A Daventry mother was spared jail after 'revolutionising' her and her childrens' lives having been pressured into dealing drugs in Northampton.
Amanda Muller's offending was revealed to police in 2018 when her abusive, then-partner showed officers her 'drug-dealing kit' following a visit to check on her welfare.
But investigators discovered the 42-year-old, of Cropredy Walk, was being exploited through texts on her mobile phone, Northampton Crown Court heard yesterday (Monday, September 20).
Her Honour Judge Adrienne Lucking sentenced her to two years in prison, suspended for two years, after she pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine and ecstacy with intent to supply.
"There has been a significant delay with this case, which is not unusual due to the pandemic," the judge told her.
"But in your case, it was three years before you were informed you were going to prosecuted so three years and eight months since you committed these offences
"In the mean time you have revolutionised the lives of you and your children - you are the sole parent as the other parent isn't appropriate to care for them and no doubt your vulnerability was significantly exploited by that other person."
On May 31, 2018, police were called to Muller's property in Northampton, which she shared with her then-partner and children,, after a neighbour heard a woman screaming.
The abusive partner took police upstairs to a cupboard, which contained a bag full of 131g of cocaine and 236 ecstacy tablets, worth an estimated £12,000, plus drug-dealing paraphernalia - all with the defendants finger prints on.
Muller's mobile phone messages indicated requests for drugs and cutting agents - Andrew Peet, prosecuting, said: "On the face of it, she was serious supplier of class A drugs."
But the phone also contained texts from someone else with instructions on how to pack, hold and sell the drugs, the prosecutor said.
During her police interview, the defendant made some admissions but lied about other things, possibly out of panic, Mr Peet added.
Judge Lucking said: "Anybody who thinks about getting involved in drugs when they have kids in their care might want to look at the woman in the dock in front of me, who I would describe as an emotional wreck as your concern is what's about to happen to your children.
"It's clear from the pre-sentence report, the note from the social worker, the letter from the school and all those other people who have provided me with references, you are in a very different place than you were in in May, 2018."
The judge said 'it was very clear' Muller was being exploited by someone who had 'significant sway' over her but not enough to claim she was under duress.
Judge Lucking added the defendant was 'deeply remorseful' and has demonstrated 'determination' in her to address her offending long before she found out she was going to be prosecuted.
"The reality is from the material I have read you have deeply impressed social services, your children suffered domestic instability and witnessed domestic violence.
"Their lives have changed beyond all recognition as you have provided a strong and happy home. If I incarcerated you there is no alternative and your children would go in to care.
"Normally that does not provide an excuse to suspend a sentence, normally people involved in this quantity of drugs in terms of measured in years.
"But in the particular circumstances of this case, the material about you and the guidelines, I have concluded you don't present a danger to the public, there is a realistic prospect of rehabilitation, plus your strong personal mitigation, you have no poor compliance with court orders as you have no previous convictions and the harmful impact on your children."
As well as the suspended sentence, Muller must complete 10 rehabilitation activity requirement days.
Judge Lucking warned her: "You have had one brush with the law, let it be the last one."