A PAIR who were heavily in debt to a loan shark and cocaine supplier were forced to take part in ‘county lines’ drug dealing in Stratford.
Tania Davis and Mohammed Miah both plead guilty to being concerned in the supply of heroin and cocaine when they appeared at Warwick Crown Court.
Davis, 28, of Selcroft Avenue, Harborne, Birmingham, was jailed for two years, and Miah, 31, of Fernley Road, Sparkhill, Birmingham, for two years and three months.
Prosecutor Rupert Jones said last April a car being driven by Miah, with Davis in the front passenger seat, was stopped by the police in Oakley Road, Stratford.
When Davis was told she was going to be searched she said she had drugs in her bag. Officers found 49 wraps of cocaine and 24 of heroin worth a total of £730 – and a further wrap of each was later found tucked into her waistband.
Miah said he had fallen into debt and had borrowed £5,000 from a loan shark who had threatened him and put him under pressure to commit the offences when he could not repay the loan.
Davis said her partner had left her in September 2017 when she was heavily pregnant with their second child, and her grandmother had a terminal illness.
As a result, she suffered from depression which led her to self-medicate with cocaine. She ran up a drug debt and was subjected to threats to get her to sell drugs to pay it off.
She said she had been collected by Miah on several occasions and driven to Stratford to sell drugs over three weeks prior to their arrest.
Mr Jones added Davis was of previous good character, while Miah had a caution for possessing drugs and a conviction in 2008 for stealing from his employer.
Simon Ward, for Miah, who works as a bus driver for an agency, told the court how at the time he was working at a failing restaurant which was not paying him and he borrowed from a loan shark.
Mr Ward said: “He got involved through coercion and intimidation. He spoke of how relieved he was on days the phone didn’t ring and he was not required to go out dealing in drugs.”
Richard Franck, for Davis, said: “Things went completely out of control in March, and she started taking cocaine. In a matter of weeks she incurred a debt she couldn’t repay.
“She was made subject to threats, not just to her, but to her family, and there is a text on her phone which is a direct threat to her on the day of this offence. She felt she had no choice but to do what was asked of her.”
Jailing them, Judge Anthony Potter said: “You went not to the centre, where there’s CCTV, but just on the outskirts of the centre and parked up with a view to dealing drugs.”