Retired Traffic Warden Led Double Life As Drug Dealer Who Called Herself Gangster Granny'
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A retired traffic warden who called herself a 'gangster granny' has been convicted of drug dealing.
Maureen Thompson, from Greater Manchester, began leading a double life as a drug dealer after she became addicted to cocaine following an injury leading her into early retirement.
She says it caused her to rack up massive debts, which she paid off through dealing.
The 61-year-old was arrested after police raided her home and found 47 wraps of cocaine hidden in a sock and almost 400 grams of cutting agents inside a binbag.
Officers also uncovered a debtors 'tick list' in a notebook as well as messages in her phone that related to numerous drug deals.
According to reports, the drugs seized by police was valued at £1,335.
Despite the mounting evidence, Thompson denied any wrong doing, telling officers that she had no idea where the drugs had come from.
However, when she was eventually questioned, the mum-of-one was found to be wearing the same kind of socks that had been used to hide the cocaine.
And during a hearing at Bolton Crown Court, she admitted to charges of possession with intent to supply as well as acquiring criminal property.
In a statement, Thompson said that her drug habit caused her to spiral into debt, and led to her working for her dealer.
She explained that she operated the phones for him and stored drugs in her house.
''I was in substantial debt to a drug dealer and I could not pay those debts so I agreed to let the dealer use my account to deposit and withdraw drugs money," Thompson said.
''My debt continued to incur interest and I agreed to store drugs and operate a drugs phone for him.
"I was a traffic enforcement officer for 28 years in Bolton and I had a serious accident which forced me into retirement.
''The medication pain relief I was taking made me spiral out of control and I started using Class A drugs.''
Defending Thompson, Joshua Bowker said his client's crimes were the result of a series of unfortunate events.
He told the court: ''Background reports on Miss Thompson paint a very different picture of her. This was offending committed after a protracted period of misfortune and misery resulting in control of her own life spiralling away from her.
''Throughout her entire life there has been a significant amount of trauma with multiple incidents of significant events happening in her life which had a great effect on her.
''There was a campaign of domestic violence she was subjected to for many years by more than one partner. She is now living with her son and that face is a more stablishing influence on her.
''She held her employment until through no fault of her own for health reasons it came to an end in the mid 2010s.
''Although there was frequent alcohol abuse connected to the domestic violence, the loss of her employment, the stability and pride that it gave, led to increasing amounts of alcohol being consumed and prolific use of cocaine.
''It led to debt and this offending occurring. This is offending out of character for her. Her use of cocaine is now on a much smaller scale but it is still happening as she's an addict.
"Her intention will be to completely wean herself off that drug use. She poses a low risk of reoffending.''
Thompson was handed a two years suspended sentence and ordered to complete a 12-month drug rehabilitation programme.
She was also ordered to complete 30 rehabilitation days and to wear an electronic tag for four months as part of a 7pm and 7am curfew.
The pensioner will also face a Proceeds of Crime hearing.
Sentencing, Thompson Judge Martin Walsh said Thompson lucky to escape immediate prison time.
He said: ''This court frequently has people appearing in front of it whose lives have been utterly devastated and destroyed by their addictions to drugs.
"Communities are blighted by the activity of those who resort to crime in order to feed their habits and those who profit out of the creation of such misery for personal financial gain can expect to receive significant prison sentences.
''But I have regard to your basis of plea and reports about you. I am just about persuaded about your circumstances to pass a suspended sentence. But I want to make it absolutely crystal clear - you have escaped going to prison by the skin of your teeth."
A judge will review Thompson's progress in two months time.