POLICE had to turn to the advice of drug addicts to find a street value of some ‘unusual’ pills a dealer was trying to sell in a nightclub.

Kelly Stokes was stopped by a bouncer in a Hartlepool bar and it was discovered that she more than 300 pills in her pockets when police searched her.

A subsequent search of her home revealed she another 113 prescription drugs stashed in a cupboard.

Martin Towers, prosecuting, told Teesside Crown Court how the 42-year-old asked the bouncers to giver her the drugs back and she would leave the pub but they refused.

He said: "She was attempting to enter a nightclub in Hartlepool called Popworld, the doorman wanted to search her bag and within that he found three unmarked containers, each of which contained tablets, he suspected they might be controlled drugs.

"The defendant told him it was her medication but he was suspicious and wanted to seize the tablets to give to the police. The defendant then said to him 'give the tablets back and she would walk away'.

"Police arrived at the scene and she said to one of the officers the tablets were Diazepam and had been prescribed which wasn't true."

Mr Towers added: The police expert said it was an unusual drug (morphine) to find in this context and had to ask a number of users what might be the value and the answer, which came back was unanimous – £2 each."

The defendant had 246 Alprazolam, which is used to treat anxiety disorders and panic disorder; nine tablets of Pregabalin, which is to treat epilepsy and anxiety; and 57 morphine tablets; with her in the club and a further 55 morphine tablets and 58 Gabapentin pills, which are used as painkillers, were recovered from her home.

The court heard she had several previous convictions including for possession of heroin.

Stokes, of Turnbull Street, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to possession of Class A and C drugs with intent to supply following her arrest in September 2019.

Ian Mullarkey, in mitigation, said his client's personal circumstances meant she was suitable for a suspended sentence and drug rehabilitation work.

He said she had chosen to 'self medicate' to deal with her problems since she was a teenager but was now wanting to work with medical professionals.

Judge Jonathan Carroll passed a two year custodial sentence, suspended for two years telling her 'this was a one-off attempt that went badly wrong'.

He said: "You had a quantity of drugs in your bag, including a highly unusual form of Morphine capsule. The inference that you were intending to supply came from the circumstance, namely that quantity of drugs in a nightclub setting."

Stokes was also given a 12 month drug rehabilitation order and 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

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