Suspended sentence after house search turns up 75 grams of cannabis and 40 diazepam tablets

editorial image

A Dungiven woman who admitted supplying cannabis has received a suspended sentence.

Amy Hanna, of Drumrane Road in the town, pleaded guilty to supplying cannabis and possessing the class B drug with intent to supply.

The 23-year-old also admitted possessing diazepam with with intent to supply and possessing criminal property.

The offences were committed on August 29, last year.

Derry Crown Court heard police were on patrol in the Burnfoot area of Dungiven when they saw Hanna talking to the driver of a van.

The officers approached the van and noticed the smell of cannabis.

They searched the van driver and a small bag of cannabis fell to the ground.

He told police he had just bought this off Hanna for £50.

The officers questioned her about this but she denied dealing drugs and said she was giving the driver directions.

However, she then produced the money, which had been hidden in her underwear.

Police then searched the 23-year-old’s home and discovered almost 75 grams of cannabis and 40 diazepam tablets.

They also found scales, deal bags, a grinder and a further £200 in cash.

During police interview, Hanna claimed the drugs in her house were for her personal use. She also claimed that she used the scales to control the amount she consumed.

The 23-year-old denied being a drug dealer but said she had a small group of friends who helped each other out with drugs.

Defence barrister Eoghan Devlin said this case showed the ‘unfortunate decline of a young woman’.

He told the court Hanna had a ‘heavy dependency on cannabis’ which started when she was a teenager and she was smoking two grams of the class B drug per day.

The court heard this drug dependency lead to Hanna dropping out of university after completing two years.

She then began to deal drugs to feed her own habit.

It was revealed the defendant has three other cases pending in relation to the misuse of drugs.

Passing sentence, Judge Philip Babington said in his view Hanna was not dealing drugs within a small group but was a ‘low level street dealer, dealing drugs to the public’.

He added it was ‘particularly sad that someone evidently bright and intelligent has fallen as far as this’.

The judge said he intended to impose a sentence which ‘may deter you in the future and may save and assist those you were quite prepared to sell to and pass on the misery of drugs to’.

Judge Babington suspended a nine month sentence for three years. He also granted a destruction order for the drugs and paraphernalia and ordered that the £250 in cash be donated to charity.