Woman, 65, who was ‘preyed upon’ hauled to court for drug dealing offe…

Woman, 65, who was ‘preyed upon’ hauled to court for drug dealing offe…

A woman in her 60s was hauled before a estimate after nearly £70,000-worth of cannabis was discovered in her flat.

Arlene Cowley, 65, said she was intimidated into allowing some men store ‘equipment’ in her flat.

Firefighters were called to the character in Monsall, Salford, following reports of a water leak.

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They found four bags containing more than 11 kilos of the class B drug, said to be worth up to £69,575.

Police were called and while officers were there, Cowley arrived.

She owned the flat but wasn’t living there at the time.

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Cowley was arrested and charged with a drug dealing offence.

But prosecutors accepted her ‘basis of plea’, which said she had been approached by a ‘number of men’.

They were ‘intimidating’ and while she wasn’t threatened clearly, she got the impression ‘she shouldn’t say no’ and reluctantly agreed.

Manchester Crown Court heard firefighters were called to the flat, which was empty at the time, in July 2019.

Her barrister Brendan O’Leary said it was ‘uncommon’ for prosecutors to accept a defendant’s basis of plea in such situations.

“I respectfully submit in effect this was someone who was preyed upon by those who were criminally complex,” he said.

“She was left in no doubt she could not refuse this so called request.”

The offence was ‘wholly out of character’ for Cowley, who has past convictions from nearly four decades ago.

For the majority of her life she has been a ‘law abiding citizen,’ the court heard.

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Cowley said she didn’t receive any payment for the cannabis being stored there.

“It was not equipment so much as cannabis,” the estimate, Recorder Simon Hilton said.

“You had access to the flat, but you were not involved at all in what was going on from the flat.

“For the great part of your adult life, you have been a person of good character.”

The estimate sentenced Cowley, of Sedgeford Road Monsall, to a 12 month community order, to include ten rehabilitation activity requirement days.

She pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply cannabis.

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