Police pulled over a motorist for erratic driving – and found over a kilo of cannabis in the boot of her car.
Michaela Conn, 25, and Mason Markham, 20, were stopped in a silver Audi A4 on their way home to Bridlington after collecting the drugs in Leeds. They were arrested at the scene and charged with possessing marijuana with intent to supply.
The Bridlington pair initially refused to answer questions during police interview, but later admitted the offence.
Markham pleaded guilty on the basis that he bought the drugs on “tick” and would have smoked most of the cannabis himself, with the rest being sold to friends; Conn made admissions on the proviso that she was to be paid in drugs for driving her friend to Leeds.
During the sentence hearing at York Crown Court on Tuesday, prosecutor Nick Adlington said the 1.06kg cannabis stash had a bulk value of up to £5,000, but would have brought between £7,500 and £10,000 if sold on the street.
He said officers stopped the car, driven by Conn, on the A166 at Gate Helmsley, just outside York, on the afternoon of September 3 last year.
“They pulled the vehicle over because of the manner of driving,” added Mr Adlington. “The car smelt of cannabis and Markham, who was in the front-passenger seat, handed officers a bag of herbal cannabis. He was arrested for possession but volunteered that there was more gear in the back.”
In a footwell of the car, officers found a mobile phone and SIM card which had been partially destroyed just before they pulled the car over.The reason soon became clear when phone records showed that over 100 drug-related text messages had been sent to that number, almost right up until the car was stopped.
Mr Adlington said that out of the two defendants, Conn, a mother-of-one, had the worst criminal record, with a previous conviction for offering to supply of cannabis and possession of cocaine. Markham had one conviction for possessing cannabis.
The Probation Service said that Markham, an unemployed father-of-one, had been a heavy cannabis user, smoking up to an ounce a week, but had since cut down, and Conn was now concentrating on her work and being a mother.
Judge Paul Batty QC said the defendants’ bases of plea, which were accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service, had saved them from an immediate jail term.
He gave both a 12-month prison sentence, but suspended this for two years.
As part of the order, Markham, of Queensgate Square, will undergo a nine-month drug-rehabilitation course and was also handed a four-month nightly curfew.
Conn, of Burstall Hill, Burton Agnes, was given 120 hours’ unpaid work.
Both were made to pay a statutory surcharge.