Leek woman dealt drugs to pay off her son’s debts

A LEEK woman described as an important ‘cog in the wheel of supply’ has been sentenced after she hid wraps of cocaine in her vest top.

Collette Price, also known as Collette Ferns, aged 49, had been subject to threats and was dealing to pay off her son’s debts, Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court was told today (Oct 1).

She was given a two-year sentence, suspended for two years, after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to possessing and supplying cocaine and possession of criminal property. She was also instructed to undertake rehabilitation activity.

Peter McCartney, prosecuting, said a warrant was prepared for Price’s home address in Prince Charles Avenue, Leek, on December 8 last year, following intelligence gathering by police.

Officers arrived and detained Price at around 4pm before searching the property.

She was found to have a small money bag and numerous wraps of white powder concealed in her clothing and was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply drugs.

On examination there was found to be 23 wraps of cocaine, 17 of which had a weight of just under 8 grams each. With a high purity level of 85 to 88 per cent the cocaine was given a street value of around £800.

Drugs-related messages were also found on Price’s mobile phone, including one to a debtor where Price had written, ‘You’re lucky I didn’t hit you.’

Following a search of her house officers seized £925 in cash, a bank book and digital scales.

Sentencing her, Judge David Fletcher, said: “This is classic street-dealing.”

He added Price was a ‘very important cog in the wheel of supply’ and said she had been ‘dealing misery to people daily.’

Jason Holt, defending, said Price was selling cocaine to pay off a drugs debt for her son, Gareth Ferns.

“She made this decision backed into a corner to assist her son. She has shown huge remorse and regret. She has stood by her son and always been there for him. She faced threats which were real and had windows put through.”

Chief Inspector Mark Thorley, of Staffordshire Moorlands Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We’re glad that Collette Price has now been sentenced. In the Staffordshire Moorlands we will not tolerate drug-dealing and the misery it brings to communities.