Published: 00:01, 07 February 2018
A Dover lottery winner has spent the last weekend behind bars.
Mum-of-four Nina Hughes, 45, was arrested two years ago for dealing in Class A drugs.
She had the chance to turn around her life after winning nearly £700,000, but chose to carry on peddling heroin on the streets to pay for her habit.
She was given a two-and-a-half-year suspended jail sentence for dealing and warned she could serve it if she was arrested again.
Now she has now been detained again... this time for stealing a bay tree!
Magistrates sent her to Canterbury Crown Court for sentence, but she arrived more than 90 minutes late and the judge remanded her into custody.
Now Hughes, of Priory Hill, has admitted breaching her bail conditions and faced going back to prison for the theft of the plant, which had been swiped outside the front of a micro pub in Dover.
Judge Simon James told her she was “testing his patience, which was now being stretched to its limits” by consistently being late for court hearings.
He added he hoped the weekend she had to spend in custody had "disabused her of the notion she can pick and choose which hearings to attend".
The judge passed a five-day prison sentence which meant she could be released immediately.
He also ordered the drug addict to stay at her home from between 8pm and 6am for the next three months and wear an electronic tag for the bay tree theft, which she had denied but then found guilty by magistrates.
Judge James told her: “This is your very last chance.”
Tom Dunn, defending, said at an earlier hearing that after a series of relationships with “inadequate men”, who let her down, she ended up bringing up four children by herself.
“She became homeless, began drinking and her life spiralled out of control but in 2005, after the birth of her fourth child, she enrolled at Dover South Kent College and became vice-president of the Students Union.
“Then an extraordinary piece of good fortune came her way when she won £691,000 on the National Lottery and bought two houses.”
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