Leyland woman who dealt drugs is given chance after three year delay in her case

A woman who peddled cannabis, amphetamines and sleeping pills in Leyland has avoided jail as a judge criticised the length of time it had taken to charge her.

Preston Crown Court heard it had taken two and half years for the case of Yvonne Halliwell, 44, of Warwick Road, Leyland, to reach a conclusion, despite mobile phone evidence indicating her involvement early on.

She admits two counts of possessing a class B drug with intent to supply, and two of possessing a class C drug - with intent to supply and being concerned in the supply of cannabis.

Prosecuting, Joshua Bowker said at around 10.30am on December 31, 2018 a warrant was executed at a house on Dunkirk Lane.

Crown Court

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Four people were found in there including Halliwell, who was found in bed with a man when officers forced entry into a bedroom.

No further action was taken against the others.

He said: " Her handbag was seized and police recovered cannabis in tin, a snap bag and a wrap.

"Also recovered were 17 diazepam pills and two nitrazepam pills."

He said police found two mobile phones which were "interrogated" and found to contain text messages indicating cannabis supply and associated terms including references to weed.

He added: "The phone also contained a Whats App messages from March 25 where an individual was asking her to sort out 'bomb'."

In an interview Halliwell, who has 11 convictions for 19 offences, answered no comment.

Despite the overwhelming evidence against her she was only charged in July 2020.

Imposing a 12 month community order with a rehabilitation requirement, Judge Beverly Lunt said there was "no justifiable excuse" for the delay in the case against her.

She said: " The moment you have sufficient evidence to charge you're supposed to charge.

"It's an absolute monstrosity.

"What am I supposed to do with her? It's been three years?

"There is a stage at which delay becomes injustice and we are on that brink aren't we?

"Can you imagine having something hanging over your head for two and half years?"

Turning to the defendant she added: " If you haven't learnt your lesson now you never will.

"What you have done, which is a positive aspect of this case, is kept out of trouble.

Despite problems in your own life - you haven't reverted to drug use or selling drugs to anyone else.

"Do what they tell you to do or you will end up back in front of me and I won't be as sympathetic."

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