A skilled beauty therapist who was arrested twice for driving under the influence of drugs at 16 times the legal limit has released herself from court after a judge ruled she needed ‘help rather than punishment’ “.
Mother-of-one Abbie Heaney, 31, was arrested driving her Vauxhall Astra after police suspected the vehicle was being used for drug trafficking.
Tests showed she had 800 micrograms of the cocaine metabolite Benzoylecgonine per liter of blood in her system.
The legal limit is 50 mg only.
Police also recovered a packet of crack, which had been thrown by a passenger she was driving.
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Manchester Crown Court heard Heaney, of Bolton, had given an identical reading about driving under the influence of drugs the previous year, but escaped with a £120 fine.
She had also been given a suspended prison sentence after she was caught smuggling drugs through a prison.
Heaney was spared by a judge yesterday (Monday February 7) after admitting to driving with drugs.
She was instead given a two-year community order after her solicitor said she was in debt over £30,000 plus a 15-year-old cocaine addiction.
Sentencing her, Judge Nicholas Dean QC said: ‘I want you to think about the position you put yourself in as it seems likely you were helping the drug trade, you knew what was going on and what the car was used to.
“You’re not doomed for this – but it reflects the lifestyle you’ve been led to.
“I’m not saying you have a lot of choices and you’ve had a hard life, but unless you get out of this situation, the time will come when, in the not too distant future, you will be arrested for providing drugs and go to jail for a long time.
The judge added: “The world you live in doesn’t give you many opportunities to get out of the hole you’ve been in. But you are a smart young woman who knows the mess your life is in and I think you need help rather than punishment.
”You are someone who is able to work, so I suggest that getting a job will be the best thing you can do – even if it’s something quite ordinary and not very paying, but something that you gives structure and routine to your life. ”
The court heard how Heaney, of Hough Lane, Bromley Cross, was arrested on May 5 last year while driving through Walkden, Salford.
Prosecutor Miss Jennifer Devans-Tamakloe said: ‘The vehicle came to the attention of a police officer as it was briefed before it went out on patrol saying the intelligence had linked the car to the drug supply in the area.
“The car then made a sharp turn in an apparent attempt to evade police and officers saw the front passenger get out of the vehicle and flee on foot.
”The vehicle was followed to the forecourt of a Texaco petrol station where it stopped and the accused was arrested while in the driver’s seat.
“Medications which the passenger had discarded were recovered and this defendant was arrested for being involved in the supply of class A drugs.
” She referenced her daily crack use and a drug test was taken which came back positive for cocaine. ”
In September 2020, Heaney also tested 800mg of cocaine when she stopped driving her Astra in Bolton.
In 2019, she was convicted of smuggling Class C drugs into Haverigg Prison in Cumbria after she was ‘coerced’ into bringing the package to inmates.
In mitigation, defense barrister Kevin Liston said: ”He is a vulnerable person who had a drug debt and was told to take a package on instruction to jail on the condition and part of its debt would be erased.
“She currently has drug debt of around £200 and payday loan debt of around £30,000.
“She is an isolated and vulnerable young woman who has suffered a lot of trauma. She has been addicted to Class A drugs for 14-15 years and as a result has associated herself with the wrong crowd.
“She lost guardianship of her only child, but she is trying to put things back together.”
Heaney, who was also banned from driving for three years, was ordered to complete a 12-month detox program and 20 days of rehab activity.
She will have to return to court in April to report to the judge on her progress.