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Monday, 20 October 2014

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Ulverston woman caught with cannabis claims she had been 'coerced'

A woman caught in possession of half a kilo of cannabis had been coerced, a court has heard.

Kathryn Hurst was said to have since addressed her addiction issues.

She appeared back for deferred sentence yesterday (Fri) and a judge placed her on a one-month-long curfew.

The 47-year-old, of Kent Square, Ulverston, had earlier pleaded guilty to a charge of possessing cannabis with intent to supply. The offence dated back to March 7 this year.

Preston Crown Court was told that the value of the drugs in the case was £5,740.

The offence put her in breach of a suspended sentence order. Her sentence in the latest case had been deferred for her to undergo drug rehabilitation and any mental health assessment thought appropriate.

Miss Lizzie Ke, defending, said a background report by the probation service described her client as a vulnerable person prone to coercion from others.

The barrister told the court: “It was coercion from one specific male that led to her behaving as she has. She has spent three months in custody this year.

“Considerable steps have been made by the defendant. She has addressed her addiction issues and taken steps to ensure she is free of drug use.”

The judge, Recorder Roger Farley QC, placed Hurst on a month-long curfew, to operate from 7pm-7am each night.

He said she had effectively served the suspended sentence while on remand. He told the defendant: “The court accepts you were coerced and since you have taken large strides, not only to get yourself free of cannabis use, but also free of those who would seek to manipulate you.”

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