This is the single mother of three who narrowly escaped prison for running a one-stop drug store with her brother.
ocaine and cannabis dealer Nicola Jameson was told by a judge that the only reason she was not in jail was so that she could look after her young children.
Instead, she was given a two-year prison sentence, suspended for three years, for her participation in the online drug operation the couple conducted via WhatsApp.
But her brother Mark, 28, described in court as the head of the operation, was unlucky after being sentenced to 44 months in prison and saying half that time would be behind bars.
This week, Nicola Jameson told Sunday World that she was “extremely relieved” not to have been jailed.
“I’m just glad it’s over and I’m not going to leave my boys,” she politely told us. “I was really scared to go to jail – I thought so. I know I am very lucky.
“Mark has already served most of his time in remand, so he should be heading home soon. “
When asked how she got involved in the hard drug trade, the 34-year-old woman from Gainsborough Drive, north Belfast, told us, ‘I’m not going into this. But I regret it and I’m done with it. It’s finish.”
Sentencing the siblings in Antrim Crown Court, Judge Neill Rafferty QC told Nicola that she “has cooperated with social services, rehabilitated herself and is the sole provider of three children to keep you from get out of prison”.
“You would be well advised to take this opportunity, to stay with your children and to stay out of trouble,” the judge warned.
In an earlier hearing, Mark Jameson, of Seaview Drive, pleaded guilty to possession of criminal property and 12 drug offenses, including advertising of medical products for sale, possession, supply and l offer to supply class A, B and C drugs on dates between January 9 and February 15, 2019.
Her sister also admitted to possessing criminal property and committing eight drug offenses, including supplying Class A, B and C drugs and attempted possession of medical products.
Summarizing the case during his sentencing remarks, Judge Rafferty explained how the offenses arose following a search of Mr Jameson’s former address in Forthriver Drive on February 4, 2019, when cops seized Class C drugs made from herbal cannabis and cannabis resin, Class A cocaine and Etizolam tablets, a prescription-only drug that is also a Class C drug.
Police also seized £ 470 in cash which was “no doubt the proceeds of crime”, 160 grams of benzocaine, a cutting agent commonly used to inflate cocaine, and drug trafficking paraphernalia including bags, scales and a blender containing white powder. .
Nicola’s former home in Ashfield Gardens was also raided where officers found more Etizolam pills, £ 250 in cash and half a kilo of benzocaine.
The judge said that during the police investigation, two packages containing Etizolam tablets and pregabalin, also a Class C pain reliever available only on prescription, one addressed to Mr Jameson and the other to his sister, had been intercepted by Royal Mail.
Meanwhile, examination of their phones and bank accounts revealed that via WhatsApp and social media, “the two defendants were in fact operating a one-stop-shop online for a very wide range of illegal substances, including cocaine. Class A, “Judge Rafferty said, adding that despite dealing with many drug cases,” it was education to read WhatsApp group messages. “
He told the court that although the two were “actively” involved, “he was convinced that Mark Jameson, who appeared by video conference from prison, was the head of the operation and used his car to deliver the drugs, his sister played a “lesser role” in the criminal enterprise.
“I am convinced that there was a significant range of drugs, that it was a one-stop shop and that there was an active and persistent retail sale of drugs,” said Justice Rafferty.
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