Crack cocaine dealer caught red-handed with holdall filled with £2,400 worth of drugs

St John's Close, North Ormesby
-Credit: (Image: Google)

A dealer was caught red-handed after police spotted a known drug user leaving a North Ormesby home.

The buyer was walking away from Nicola Olsen's house with three wraps of crack cocaine on him, on February 12. When police went into the home on St John's Close, Olsen had a black holdall with her.

On Tuesday, Jonathan Walker, prosecuting, told Teesside Crown Court that the bag contained 162 wraps of crack cocaine, which were split into £15 deals. The drugs were valued at £2,430.

The bag also contained £390 in cash and four mobile phones. Scales and plastic grip-seal bags were found in a cabinet in the living room.

Olsen, 49, and of no fixed abode, initially denied the possession of a class A drug with intent, but later pleaded guilty. She has previous convictions for the possession of heroin with intent; shop lifting and the possession of crack cocaine.

Michele Turner, mitigating, told the court that Olsen has been held in prison on remand since February, and has started a methadone programme. "She's part way there to beginning recovery," Ms Turner said, "and she's been offered accommodation when she is released from the charity 'Changing Lives'."

The court heard that Olsen was selling drugs to fund her own habit. Olsen agreed to take part in an intensive supervision scheme, which is designed to punish and help drug addicts in the community, rather than send them to prison.

Judge Chris Smith told her: "It's really easy when you are in prison and it's tough, to say you'll accept any alternative. I don't want that to be the case here. Crack cocaine is a menace. People who deal in it usually go to prison. This sentence is designed to punish you but also to offer a real chance at breaking the habit.

"You're going to have to come to court every four weeks. There'll be lots of help; lots of support - but you have to take it. You must follow the rules in your new accommodation. If they make you homeless because you have broken the rules, this order will end.

"You will be seen by probation, drugs workers and the police will see you every week. Let's get you on the road to a law abiding life and most importantly, let's get you off drugs."