A 60-year-old drug dealer has been spared jail after a raid at her Preston home.
Margaret Eve, of Trawden Crescent, Brookfield, stashed 14.5g of heroin on her body when officers raided her home.
Preston Crown Court heard Eve has a 20-year drug addiction and a number of health problems. She pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply the class A drug, resulting in her third conviction for drug dealing.
Judge Simon Newell, sentencing, said Eve was “extremely lucky” one of her convictions pre-dates legislation which calls for a statutory minimum sentence of seven years in jail for a third strike drug dealer.
Eve has a conviction for supplying heroin in 2006 and a conviction for possessing ecstasy with intent to supply in 1997.
The court heard Eve has stopped taking heroin and has also stopped taking methadone after she was hospitalised with a chest infection in October.
Judge Simon Newell said: “You have been very lucky, because by a matter of months you have missed out on a seven year sentence. You won’t miss out again. Your last two convictions - this one and the one in 2006 - are both strikes, so if there are any more - no matter how small the amount of heroin you have, even if it is one £10 wrap and you supply it and get caught you get seven years,
“You have made some good progress over the last six months. That progress has not been entirely self motivated or by the threat of the court.
“It seems you had some serious health problems and realised if things carry on the way they are you might not be with us for much longer.”
He handed Eve an 18-month sentence suspended for two years with supervision.