Pregnant Leeds drug dealer and boyfriend arrested at Asda avoid custody thanks to unborn baby

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A heavily-pregnant woman caught dealing Class-A drugs with her partner have both been freed from prison, after a judge said their unborn child could help them stay out of trouble.

Claire Silverwood, who has a previous convictions for dealing, was caught carrying almost £1,000 worth of heroin and crack cocaine when police stopped the couple at the Asda petrol station forecourt.

Silverwood and her partner, Jamie Scott, both admitted two counts of dealing in Class A drugs. Scott also admitted driving while banned, without insurance and failing to provide a sample for drug testing.

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Both appeared at Leeds Crown Court this week via video link, Scott from HMP Lincoln and Silverwood from HMP New Hall. But the judge, Recorder Craig Hassall KC opted not to keep either behind bars, despite acknowledging such offences usually attract immediate jail sentences.

Pregnant Silverwood and her boyfriend Scott avoided a custodial sentence after being caught with heroin and crack cocaine at the Asda petrol station in Pudsey. (pics by Google Maps / PA)Pregnant Silverwood and her boyfriend Scott avoided a custodial sentence after being caught with heroin and crack cocaine at the Asda petrol station in Pudsey. (pics by Google Maps / PA)
Pregnant Silverwood and her boyfriend Scott avoided a custodial sentence after being caught with heroin and crack cocaine at the Asda petrol station in Pudsey. (pics by Google Maps / PA) | Google Maps / PA

He said there was a “realistic prospect of rehabilitation” thanks to their baby and gave them both suspended sentences, saying a return to jail would “hang over their heads”.

The court heard that on March 11 police stopped the VW EOS on the forecourt of Asda on Stanningley Road, Pudsey, having raised the suspicions of police earlier in the day. Scott, 35, was driving with Silverwood, 39, in the passenger seat.

When she was asked to get out of the vehicle, a wrap of drugs fell into the seat as she stood up. They also found a bag on her containing 59 wraps of crack cocaine and 39 of heroin. The value was £980. Her mobile phone was checked and found to contain messages evident of street dealing. The court heard that both, who had been living on Bawn Drive in Farnley, blamed each other for their offending.

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Mitigating for Silverwood, James Littlehales said she was remorseful, and had been instructed to sell drugs, after running up a debt due to her own addiction. He said there had been threats to her family as a result.

He said she was now “determined” to conquer her addiction and was now on a methadone programme to combat her heroin cravings. Mr Littlehales added: “It’s been a wake-up call for her.”

For Scott, Tom Jackson said he was also involved due to his own drug addictions. He said due to personal bereavements, Scott descended on a “downward spiral” and took more drugs. He said he had a pressure-washing business and was keen to start that up again. Mr Jackson said: “He is proud of the fact he is clean [from drugs] in prison. He has a child on the way who he is very keen to provide for.”

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Recorder Hassall said it did not “bode well” given that they tried to pin the blame on each other. He said: “It’s obvious you were both involved in this operation and it’s clearly obvious you were both forced. You were both addicted to drugs at that time.”

He gave them both a 24-month sentence, suspended for 18 months, along with drug-rehabilitation requirement for 12 months. Silverwood was given 18 rehabilitation days with probation, and 20 days for Scott. He was also banned from driving for 12 months.

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