A DRUG addict was called a liar by a judge after she denied dealing or allowing her Worcester flat to be used as a shop to sell crack cocaine and heroin.

Recovering addict Lucy Cannaway (pictured) admitted possession of class A drugs heroin and crack cocaine when she appeared at Worcester Crown Court on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, her co-defendant, out of town dealer Finley Clarke of New England Street, Brighton, will admit dealing the drugs - but only on the basis he was plying the trade to pay off a drugs debt, claiming he was scared of other people further up the chain.

Judge James Burbidge QC, the Recorder of Worcester, said he did not believe Cannaway's story that she was merely buying class A drugs. She had originally been charged with supply.

However, the judge said he had to deal with the on the basis of the charges being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service.

The 39-year-old grandmother of London Road, Worcester, had the drugs in her possession on July 1 this year. Her 18-year-old co-defendant, Finley Clarke, faces more serious charges but could not be arraigned as no live link could be established with the prison.

However, his barrister, Frances Pencheon, who appeared over live link indicated that Clarke would plead guilty to the three counts against him – two of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs and one of acquiring, using or possessing criminal property. This was on a basis that he was ‘a cannabis user and had run up a cannabis debt which he was unable to pay’.

Miss Pencheon added: “He was scared of the individuals he owed the money to and he was pressured into selling class A drugs to pay off the debt and felt he had no other choice in doing so.”

David Bennett, prosecuting, said Cannaway’s flat at London Road provided ‘ready access’ to Fort Royal Park where drugs were being supplied.

Police received a tip-off from a member of the public that dealing was taking place near Cannaway’s flat at around 10am.

Officers arrived there at around 1pm and Cannaway was stopped and detained for a drugs search, telling officers she had just been sold drugs by her co-defendant. She was found in possession of two wraps of heroin and one wrap of crack cocaine. When officers searched the flat they found Finley Clarke who was arrested after a brief foot chase. Further class A drugs and a significant quantity of cash was found.

In interview she said Clarke, who is from London, was ‘a friend of hers’ and denied she had bought the three wraps from him.

“She denied selling drugs herself. She claimed she left the flat and Mr Clarke just happened to turn up and she allowed him to stay at the flat while she went out to buy some drugs” said Mr Bennett.

She accepted she sometimes bought drugs from the ‘Silver Line’ and there was a number saved in her phone which was that of this County Lines operation.

“When Mr Clarke was arrested his phone was constantly ringing” said Mr Bennett.

“Her interview with the police was a lie” said Judge James Burbidge QC.

Judge Burbidge said he could not sentence her as a dealer of class A drugs because she now only faced possession charges. She claimed no-one was selling drugs from her flat and answered ‘no comment’ to further questions put to her by officers.

She claimed the £140 in her wallet was ‘just her benefits’, Mr Bennett said.

Cannaway has convictions for 27 offences including for drug possession offences, matters of dishonesty and breaches of a community order.

“She has never been sentenced to immediate custody,” said Mr Bennett.

Jason Patel, for Cannaway, said his client had entered timely guilty pleas and had received a methadone script to wean her off heroin.

He told the court she had been in custody in Eastwood Park for the last three weeks and three days.

He said: “It’s the healthiest I have seen her looking.”

Judge Burbidge replied: “That suggests prison is working. Assuming she gets out on the streets, what’s going to stop her?”

Mr Patel said his client was now clean and had a son and grandchildren living nearby. “She has that tight community around her” he said.

Bearing in mind the time she has already served in custody, Mr Patel asked that the judge impose a ‘short custodial sentence which would allow her immediate release’.

Judge Burbidge said: “I doubt the court really has heard the full story in this case because, as you well know, I have already indicated some scepticism about what was going on. Originally you were charged with being concerned in the supply of drugs.”

However, he said the Crown Prosecution Service had laid less serious charges of possession despite a member of the public saying he had seen drug dealing going on.

“I must deal with you for the charge the prosecution pursued” he said.

The judge sentenced her to six weeks in prison which will be covered by the time she has served on remand and ordered her to pay £140 costs and a victim surcharge. She will be subject to licence and supervision for the next 12 months.

Clarke will be sentenced on August 18 this year.