Mum-of-four became sex worker to fund £200-a-day drug habit

A mum-of-four who took to sex work and selling crack to fund a £200-a-day heroin habit has been jailed for two years.

Jade Taylor-Harrison was arrested after an officer saw her supply two men in an alleyway near Aldi in Newcastle, and she has now been jailed for 27 months after a trial at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.

Five weeks after the Newcastle arrest, she was stopped and searched by police and found to have eight wraps of cocaine and one wrap of heroin.

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Taylor-Harrison told police that she owed her dealer £800 after the previous arrest and would be stabbed if she did not repay the debt, reports Stoke-On-Trent Live.

Prosecutor Caroline Harris said a plain clothes police officer saw the defendant hand something to two men in an alleyway near Aldi shortly before 2pm on September 4, 2020.

The arresting officer called for assistance and a colleague arrived and arrested the defendant. At the police station the defendant's handbag was searched and police recovered £270 cash and a list of her sales.

In her police interview the defendant said she sold the two men two wraps of crack cocaine for £35. She said she had a £60 a day heroin habit and had been recruited by her dealer who she would not name.

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She said she was selling 90 deals of heroin and crack cocaine a week, some to people she knew and some to others she was directed to meet by the dealer. She added that she had withdrawn £90 from the bank but the rest was from selling drugs. She was released.

In her interview she said she was selling on behalf of someone else and selling three deals for £20. She was acting under compulsion but would not name the person. She said she owed £800 after the previous arrest.

She added she would be stabbed if she did not repay the debt. She said she was using £160 to £200 worth of heroin each day which she funded through prostitution. She added that the £240 was all from selling drugs and was to be passed on to her dealer.

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Taylor-Harrison pleaded guilty to two charges of being concerned in the supply of a class A drug; two charges of being in possession of a class A drug with intent to supply; and failure to surrender to bail.

Robert Holt, mitigating, said the defendant is now on a methadone prescription and it is hoped she will not need drugs or any substitute in six months.

Recorder Richard McConaghy said the first arrest should have been a shot across the defendant's bows. He said: "Just over a month later you were seen by police again. You had eight wraps of cocaine and one wrap of heroin and £240.

"I do not underestimate the pressure put on those in your position. Class A drugs have a horrendous grip on individuals. They destroy lives of users and damage the community.

"You are beginning to realise it is something you need to move away from."

The judge ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the drugs and phones and ordered the forfeiture of £510.

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