THE widow of drugs victim Desmond Johns last night spoke of her relief at the conviction of the woman who injected her husband with a fatal heroin dose.

Glynis Johns would have been married to former construction ground worker Des for 17 years this weekend.

Mrs Johns, of Upper Church Street, Spennymoor, believed Storey deserved longer than the eight years imposed for manslaughter and drug supply, at Durham Crown Court yesterday.

But she said: "At least she was found guilty, that was the main thing. It won't bring Des back, but at least everyone now knows.

"She has ruined more people's lives in Spennymoor, but if anything good comes out of this, it might be that it stops just one kid taking heroin.

"Des was not a heroin addict, he never used the stuff. It made him sick and he didn't like it.

"He became addicted to pain killers prescribed by a doctor.

"He had an old industrial injury and he began having fits. By 1999, he couldn't work any more, which is when he started drinking more.

"He wasn't a bad alcoholic, he was never rolling drunk.

"We tried to get him off the drink and the tablets, but it failed. He went up there that night to get the dfs (the pain-killer, dihydrocodine).

"I didn't approve of him taking it, which is why he went there. He shouldn't have gone, I totally disagree with it.

"I could have got him them, but I didn't, because I wanted him to stop."

Mrs Johns said that having made efforts to have her husband treated, a place in a clinic became available the day after his death.

She was scathing of Storey's attitude in ignoring her husband's plight when he collapsed after she injected him with heroin.

"It was callous and disgusting. She could have phoned an ambulance, but she just wanted him out of the house."

Mrs Johns, an assembly worker at Spennymoor's Black and Decker factory, described Des as "a wonderful husband and a great father" to their 16-year-old son, Tommy. "He hasn't really got over it. He loved his dad and his dad loved him," she said.

Speaking after yesterday's verdict and sentencing, the officer who led the investigation into Mr Johns' death said he believed justice had been done.

Detective Sergeant Paul Roe, who along with colleague Detective Constable Jason Corbett, won praise from trial judge Mr Justice Bennett, said: "I'm over the moon with the result.

"This case highlights the effects heroin can have. It certainly destroyed the life of Dessie Johns.

"Justice has been done for the family, and it sends a strong message out to people who deal in heroin that it won't be tolerated.

"We'll continue to target those people who deal in it."

Det Sgt Roe said that after a brief lull other people stepped into the void following Storey's arrest to take up the heroin trade in the town.

"Other people have taken over, but the message is that strong sentences will be imposed if they are caught."

He added: "I would say that Melanie Storey was one of the more affluent dealers in the area and she was obviously making a lot of money."

People on the estate said they were glad to be rid of her when she was arrested.

One former neighbour, who asked not to be named, said she was shunned by local people and barred from the estate shop.

"She used to run into the street screaming like a banshee. It happened all the time.

"We are pleased to see the back of her. People knew what she was and kept away from her.

"We didn't want anything to do with her. She didn't have any friends except the punters.

"The estate is a lot better now. It used to be full of dealers, but they have gone."

Storey's former home remains boarded up after a fire shortly after her arrest.