A “vulnerable” 22-year-old woman from London has been jailed for 15 months for her part in a “county lines” operation dealing drugs in the Highlands.
It was Louise Woolston’s third similar conviction and her defence solicitor, advocate Neil Wilson, told Inverness Sheriff Court that his client was currently serving a three-year sentence for supplying drugs.
So-called “county lines” drug trafficking is the practice of moving drugs into rural areas and smaller towns, away from major cities.
Traffickers recruit vulnerable people and children, including those who have been excluded from school, as drug dealers.
Mr Wilson included Woolston in the “vulnerable” category when he addressed Sheriff Ian Cruickshank yesterday after pleading guilty on her behalf to being concerned in the supply of cocaine and heroin from a house in Oldtown Road, Inverness on September 21, 2019.
A co-accused is to stand trial later in the year.
Mr Wilson said: “This was as a result of a county lines operation. She was a long way from her home in London and is a vulnerable person.
“She was a small cog in the wheel and was assaulted by others who held her responsible for their loss. So she is a victim as well.”
Fiscal depute Alex Swain told the court that police received a tip-off about Woolston’s activities.
She said a search warrant was obtained and Woolston, of Undershaw Road, Bromley, was found in a bedroom.
Miss Swain said: “On a cabinet were wraps of drugs, scales and loose drugs. In the living room more white powder was recovered as well as bags, wraps, scales a mobile phone, and £3,000 in cash.”
Ms Swain added that the street value of the drugs recovered was £1,260.