Drug-dealer mum sobs over jail term

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A DRUG-DEALER mum broke down in tears as she was sentenced to two years for her part in what police labelled a £250,000 drugs racket.

Jo-Anna Wallace, 21, was comforted by partner Lee Middlemass, 25, as they were both led to the cells at the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday.

She was desperate to avoid jail after admitting being concerned in the supply of the cocaine with Middlemass at a hearing last month.

In an unusual move, judge Lord Pentland had allowed them both bail to spend time with their then nine-week-old daughter while background reports were prepared.

But yesterday he dismissed Wallace’s pleas for community service.

He said: “What sort of message would that send to society and, in particular, to persons further up the drug chain who might be tempted to prey on vulnerable individuals?”

Second-hand car dealer Middlemass, was sentenced to three years and nine months after the court was told he turned their spare bedroom into a workshop for adulterating cocaine.

Police raided their home at Thornybank Square, Dalkeith, and seized cocaine worth more than £100,000, as well as equipment for cutting and packaging cocaine for street sales.

More than a kilo of cocaine was also uncovered, much of it well above the normal purity for street deals along with a chemical used to dilute or “cut” cocaine.

In another bedroom, officers found £7195. They also found scales and plastic bags.

Sentencing the pair, judge Lord Pentland said he had listened closely to the mitigation and taken into account the reports and their guilty pleas.

But he added the fact they now have a young child could not be used as justification for a non-custodial sentence.

He said he acknowledged Middlemass was the “principal actor in this enterprise” but said Wallace had allowed it to happen in the flat.

He added: “You allowed yourself to profit from the money made by the co-accused.”

A statement by Police Scotland said the couple were both arrested when police stopped their vehicle on the M8 in last October.

A search of the van resulted in the seizure of a kilo of heroin, and two kilos of cocaine – but charges were later dropped by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

Detective Chief Inspector Colin Boyle, from Police Scotland’s Specialist Crime Division, said: “They were 
caught transporting a large quantity of drugs.”

kate.pickles@edinburghnews.com