'Hard times' led woman to sell drugs

Last updated 12:30 20/10/2012

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A 46-year-old Richmond woman who police say was one of the busiest cannabis dealers in Nelson dealt drugs because she was struggling financially, a court has heard.

Catherine May Burgess appeared for sentencing in the Nelson District Court this week after admitting one charge of possession of cannabis and two charges of selling cannabis between April 25 and May 23.

Sergeant Graeme Eden, prosecuting, said she had supplied a high volume of cannabis to young people.

It was not possible to determine the extent of the drug-selling activity, but she was regarded as one of the busiest sellers in the region over that period.

When police searched her home, they found 15 cannabis tinnies and another nine grams of loose cannabis material.

Defence lawyer Wayne Jones said Burgess was embarrassed and had no intention of going down that track again.

Judge Richard Russell said a pre-sentence report had said she was not a drug user herself and had been facing financial hardship at the time, and that was the reason for her offending.

She regretted the offending.

He said the use and sale of drugs was against the law and there was a very good reason for that.

Drug use led to other types of offending, drug addiction and could exarcerbate pre-existing mental conditions.

"You won't need to do this again, much harsher outcomes will follow."

He sentenced Burgess to four months' community detention and 125 hours of community work, and ordered the cannabis destroyed.

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- The Nelson Mail

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