A ‘NAIVE’ teenager was caught carrying high-purity cocaine worth almost £6,000 in a van near Kendal just five days into the first national lockdown.
Danielle Jade Flynn, now 18, was just 17 when police saw a white vehicle swerving within its lane on the A590 close to junction 36 of the M6 last year.
Officers pulled over the south-bound vehicle at around 10.35pm after spotting it on March 28.
“Once stopped, they [police] noticed the smell of cannabis,” prosecutor Brendan Burke told Carlisle Crown Court.
“They conducted a Misuse of Drugs Act search.”
Flynn was the front-seat passenger of the vehicle, which was being driven by her then boyfriend’s mother.
“Within what she accepts was her black rucksack in the passenger footwell were found two golf ball-sized wraps of what transpired was cocaine,” said the prosecutor. He said this was high purity, ‘of the crack variety’ and with a potential £5,700 value.
“From ANPR (automatic numberplate recognition) it was seen that the van had travelled twice, in short order, from the Morecambe area to the Kendal area, making brief stops before returning,” said Mr Burke.
“It is right to say that all the Crown – on the evidence it has – can properly say is that this defendant was carrying the cocaine from A to B, acting otherwise as a courier.”
Flynn, of Middleton Road, Heysham, admitted possessing the class A drug with intent to supply.
The court heard she was a woman of previous good character, backed by references, who was said to have played a ‘lesser’ criminal role, having shown ‘naivety and immaturity’.
Niamh Ingham, defending, said Flynn was currently in full-time work and had been interviewed by a probation officer.
“This is an offence entirely out of character for this defendant,” said Miss Ingham.
“The suggestion that she will never be in trouble again, or trouble this court again, is one that seems entirely accurate.”
Judge Richard Archer noted Flynn would probably have received an entirely community-based sentence had she been sentenced in a youth court as a 17-year-old. Instead, hers had been a ‘non-priority bail case’ delayed amid the Covid pandemic, leading to her appearing in court as an adult.
Judge Archer imposed a 12-month community order with one requirement: that Flynn complete 120 hours’ unpaid work.
“You did have very little influence on anyone else in the chain and you were naive in terms of your involvement,” he said of her crime.