Drugs ‘mule’ jailed for 40 months

Lincoln Crown Court
Lincoln Crown Court

A mother-of-three who was caught with a stash of drugs after police stopped a car has been jailed for 40 months.

Catherine Weighell was a passenger in a car which was stopped at 2am by officers on Thorndike Way, Gainsborough, a few days before Christmas.

Almas Ben-Aribia, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court: “The officers noticed a strong smell of cannabis and decided to carry out a search of the vehicle.

“Secreted in the rear seats was a plastic bag containing a number of packages.”

Miss Ben-Aribia said the packages contained drugs including 40gs of cocaine, 21gs of cannabis and 19gs of heroin, together with a smaller amount of crack cocaine.

“The drugs were not in individual deals. They were packaged in bulk,” she said.

“In a handbag found in the well of the passenger seat near to where the defendant had been sitting was found a set of digital scales.

“From the boot of the vehicle was found a roll of tin foil as well as some bicarbonate of soda.”

Miss Ben-Aribia said Weighell tried to grab a sports bag as she was being arrested.

The bag was found to contain over £300 in cash, plus a supply of small plastic self-seal bags.

Weighell, 37, of Market Place, Bawtry, admitted four charges of possession of drugs with intent to supply as a result of the incident on December 18.

Duncan Smith, in mitigation, said Weighell had been an addict but managed to control her habit for several years before a series of deaths in her family resulted in her drug taking increasing.

She got into debt with dealers and, he said, was forced into dealing.

Mr Smith said: “It is perfectly clear that this lady was under the control of some seriously bad people.

“To say that she was a mule is not to under-play the case.

“She says she was under terrible pressure to do this because of the drug debt she had to these people.

“The debt was being doubled on a daily basis and so it had no resemblance to the debt that she first got into.

“She was not a willing party. She was taken to a place where she had no escape.”