A Portadown woman described as a member of an organised crime gang concerned in the supply of drugs has been sentenced to four months in prison.
In sentencing the 29-year-old, the district judge said: “If we didn’t have sellers, we wouldn’t have destroyed lives. You cannot avoid a custodial sentence for supplying drugs.”
Patrice McCrory, 29, of Union Street, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs and being concerned in the supply of Class B drugs at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.
Prosecution stated that given the charges they had little information on the facts on the offences.
Court heard that between October 2015 and July 2016, the defendant was found to have been part of an organised crime gang after enquires and investigation by the PSNI.
This gang was allegedly involved in the supply of drugs and associated offences of blackmail, extortion and harassment.
McCrory was being referred to as a key member and had been recorded talking about the supply of drugs.
Defence counsel stated: “I am slightly surprised that she has been described as a key member, given that her case was separated from the others who face Crown Court proceedings.
“The basis of her plea is that she was present during a discussion regarding the supply of drugs.”
District Judge Bernie Kelly commented: “The difficulty I have is that the supply of drugs crosses the custody threshold.”
Defence counsel informed court that the defendant’s three children had been removed from her by Social Services.
District Judge Kelly stated: “That was because of her lifestyle choices. We all know that Social Services don’t just turn up on your door.”
Defence counsel said: “This is two years later, she has stopped associating with these people, she has moved out of the area.
“This offence happened because of her link with the appalling company she was keeping.”
He added: “She now has ongoing contact with her children and Social Services are happy with how she is presenting herself.”
District Judge Kelly stated: “Drugs are a scourge on this country. I see it every week, in fact, last week I had a 20-year-old girl unfit to lift her head, she looked like a new-born baby with that wobbly a neck.
“If we didn’t have sellers, we wouldn’t have destroyed lives. You cannot avoid a custodial sentence for supplying drugs.”
She added: “That is why they are usually sentenced in the Crown Court, so you can count yourself lucky.”
McCrory was sentenced to four months in prison for the offences.