Tonbridge mum-of-five Sally Smith blows £130k compensation on 40-joint-a-day cannabis habit
A mum-of-five awarded more than £130,000 after she was hit by a car spent most of her compensation on cannabis, a court has heard.
Sally Smith, 39, was smoking up to 40 joints a day when she was caught supplying £1,000 worth of the class B drug to a friend in July.
Maidstone Crown Court heard Smith was run over in 2003 while on a pedestrian crossing.
A cannabis joint. Library picture
She was said to have suffered serious injuries that first left her bed-bound and then in a wheelchair.
Ben Irwin, defending, said life had been very difficult since. "She suffers from constant pain, mobility difficulties and post traumatic stress disorder.
"From 2003 her life has been very difficult and because of that she began to take cannabis."
Three years ago Smith, who now walks with a stick, was diagnosed with vulval cancer and had to undergo a major operation.
"This led to depression and personal difficulties," continued Mr Irwin.
"She turned to smoking cannabis as a way of dealing with those demons and making her day to day life all the more tolerable."
A lit joint. Library picture
Mr Irwin said Smith, of Dudley Keen Court, Tonbridge, was awarded £136,000 compensation for the road accident.
But he added she did not realise how addicted she had become until her arrest and attendance of Narcotics Anonymous.
"All of the money is gone and was mostly spent on cannabis," explained Mr Irwin.
"What she has to show for it is a Vauxhall Zafira and a flatscreen TV. She said she showed her children some good Christmases and has her own accommodation.
"She couldn't cope with having that much money and it all went far too soon."
The court also heard that Smith did not become involved in dealing the drug herself to fund a glamorous lifestyle.
"It wasn't a desire to make money or a profit. It was about making sure the pain wasn't so acute," continued Mr Irwin.
Smith admitted possessing cannabis with intent to supply, producing cannabis and supplying cannabis.
The friend to whom she supplied the drug, Paul Fletcher, 34, of Ashley Road, Hildenborough, also admitted possession with intent to supply.
Both were sentenced to eight months jail suspended for two years and ordered to each pay £250 court costs.
Smith was also given a three-month curfew from 7pm to 3am while father-of-one Fletcher was ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work, supervision for 18 months and attend a Thinking Skills programme.
Passing sentence, Judge Charles Byers warned of the perils of using cannabis. "Both of you must understand that whatever people say cannabis is a dangerous drug. It can cause the most enormous problems for the people who take it."
He added that both had been extremely co-operative with the authorities and had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.
"Whatever people say cannabis is a dangerous drug. It can cause the most enormous problems for the people who take it" - Judge Charles Byers
Prosecutor Keith Yardy told the court police stopped Fletcher's Peugeot car after it had been seen outside Smith's home.
The drugs were found wrapped in an Iceland bag behind the driver's seat.
Officers then went to Smith's home, where she told them: "You don't have to search it. If you want to know where the drugs are you only have to ask."
She then showed them two tubs containing a further 59g of herbal cannabis. Six plants were also found in the garden and £500 was in a safe in the kitchen.
Fletcher later told police he had bought the cannabis to sell to friends for a £50 profit.
Smith, who has a previous conviction for possessing drugs in 2009, initially denied being paid by Fletcher.
Mr Irwin told the court that on the day it was found she had wanted to get the drug out of her house as she knew police were targeting known addicts.
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