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one-stop coke shop Mother of three who ran WhatsApp drugs operation avoids jail on account of children

This week Nicola Jameson told the Sunday World she was “extremely relieved” not to have been jailed

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Nicola Jameson avoided jail time for her part in drug operation

Nicola Jameson avoided jail time for her part in drug operation

Nicola Jameson avoided jail time for her part in drug operation

This is the single mum of three who narrowly escaped going to jail for running a one-stop drug shop with her brother.

Cocaine and cannabis dealer Nicola Jameson was told by a judge the only reason she wasn’t being jailed was so she could look after her young children.

Instead she was handed a two-year prison term, suspended for three years, for her part in the online drugs operation which the pair ran through WhatsApp.

But her 28-year-old brother Mark – described in court as the leader of the operation – wasn’t so lucky after he was handed a 44-month jail sentence and told half of that time would be behind bars.

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Nicola Jameson speaks to our reporter at her north Belfast home

Nicola Jameson speaks to our reporter at her north Belfast home

Nicola Jameson speaks to our reporter at her north Belfast home

 

This week Nicola Jameson told the Sunday World she was “extremely relieved” not to have been jailed.

“I’m just glad it’s over and I’m not going to be leaving my boys,” she politely told us. “I was really worried about going to jail – I thought I was. I know I’m very lucky.

“Mark has served most of his time already while on remand so he should be home soon.”

Asked how she got involved in dealing hard drugs, the 34-year-old, of Gainsborough Drive, north Belfast, told us: “I’m not going to get into that. But I regret it and I’m done with. It’s over.”

Sentencing the siblings at Antrim Crown Court, Judge Neill Rafferty QC told Nicola the fact that she “cooperated with Social Services, have rehabilitated yourself and are the sole provider for three children has kept you out of jail”.

“You would be well advised to take this opportunity, stay with your children and stay out of trouble,” warned the judge.

At an earlier hearing Mark Jameson, from Seaview Drive, entered guilty pleas to one charge of possessing criminal property and 12 drug offences including advertising medical products for sale, possessing, supplying and offering to supply class A, B and C drugs on dates between January 9 and February 15 2019.

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His sister also admitted possessing criminal property and eight drug offences including supplying class A, B and C drugs and attempting to possess medical products.

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Brother Mark got 44 months

Brother Mark got 44 months

Brother Mark got 44 months

 

Summarising the case during his sentencing remarks, Judge Rafferty outlined how the offences arose following a search at Mr Jameson’s former address at Forthriver Drive on February 4 2019 when cops seized class C drugs herbal cannabis and cannabis resin, class A drug cocaine and Etizolam tablets, a prescription only medicine which is also a class C drug.

Police also seized £470 in cash which was “undoubtedly the proceeds of crime,” 160 grams of benzocaine, a commonly used cutting agent used to bulk out cocaine, and drug dealing paraphernalia including bags, scales and a blender which had white powder in it.

Nicola’s former home at Ashfield Gardens was also searched where officers found more Etizolam tablets, £250 cash and half a kilo of benzocaine.

The judge said during the police investigation two parcels containing Etizolam tablets and pregabalin, also a prescription-only class C painkiller, with one addressed to Mr Jameson and the other to his sister, were intercepted by Royal Mail.

Meanwhile examinations of their phones and bank accounts revealed that through WhatsApp and social media, “both defendants were in fact operating an online, one-stop shop for a very great range of illegal substances including class A cocaine,” said Judge Rafferty, adding that despite dealing with many drug cases, “it was an education to read the WhatsApp group messages”.

He told the court that while both were “actively” involved” he was satisfied that Mark Jameson, who appeared by videolink from prison, was the leader of the operation and used his car to deliver the drugs, his sister played a “lesser role” in the criminal enterprise.

“I’m satisfied there was a significant range of drugs, this was a one-stop shop and there was the active and persistent retail of drugs,” said Judge Rafferty.

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