A MOTHER of four whose house was used as a base to sell drugs said she wished she had ‘never opened the door’ to criminals involved in a ‘county lines’ operation.

Jenny Niblock, 39, has narrowly avoided being jailed after police carried out a raid at her home in Barrow.

She acted as the ‘street dealer’ selling cocaine to drug users in the town, while co-defendant Paul Morgan-Patton, from Liverpool, was the ‘stock keeper’, a court heard.

The pair were sentenced at a hearing at Preston Crown Court.

David Clarke, prosecuting, said police had intercepted a bulk message using a phone line known as the ‘Jimmy’ line on January 27 2021, which advertised the sale of ‘dark’ and ‘white’ substances, thought to have been heroin and cocaine.

Police officers carried out surveillance of her home in Parade Street and saw her appear to sell drugs to two people.

Later that day, officers carried out a ‘strike’ at the property and found Morgan-Patton in the house as well as drugs and more than £4,000 in cash.

Mr Clarke said Niblock had left the property and got in a taxi but was later found by officers.

In mitigation, Niblock’s solicitor Holly Nelson said a drug group had targeted her and her home.

She told the court: “There was nothing to suggest she was trusted with a great deal of stock.

“When she was arrested no quantity of drugs or cash was found on her.

“Her property had been taken over by the Jimmy line.

“She became involved because they knew her as a drug user in the Barrow area.

“I’m not in a position to suggest she was preyed upon but that would have been in the back of their minds when they chose her property.”

The solicitor read out parts of a letter the defendant had written to the judge.

In the letter Niblock said she ‘should never have opened that door’ to those involved in organised drug dealing and that she was ‘nervous and scared’.

“I’m very aware of the damage that drugs can cause,” she said in the letter.

“My own family have felt that.”

She said her four sons had ‘missed the opportunity’ of having a mother while Niblock was remanded in custody.

Ms Nelson said Niblock had ‘learnt her lesson’

“She doesn’t make any excuses for her behaviour, she knows this was her own fault,” Ms Nelson said.

“She has two younger sons and she misses them greatly.

“The harm of her drug abuse is not lost on this woman.”

Niblock admitted permitting her property to be used for the supply of crack cocaine and two counts of possession with intent to supply a class A drug.

She was sentenced to 24 months in prison, suspended for 18 months.

Morgan-Patton admitted conspiracy to supply a class A drug and was jailed for 28 months.

Recorder Richard Temkin QC said the pair ‘spread the evils’ of drugs across the area.