Sympathy – but two-year sentence for Elgin woman

A SHERIFF OFFERED sympathy to the plight of a Moray woman who appeared before Elgin Sheriff Court on Tuesday – but jailed her for two years.

Michelle Kelly, 32, was caught with a quantity of class A drugs valued at around £25,000 when police raided her home on Elgin’s Hossack Drive in August last year.

The court was told that the mother of four got into problems through borrowing cash to provide basic essentials, struggling to pay it back. That, the court was told, led to her being forced into storing and selling the illegal drugs.

Fiscal Alex Swain said that when police arrived Kelly took officers into a room and showed them a black handbag and an ice-cream tub. Miss Swain said: “The bag was opened and found to contain numerous smaller bags of white powder, which the accused confirmed was cocaine.

“The ice cream tub contained several clear bags of white/yellow powder which the accused identified as amphetamine.”

Defence lawyer Matthew O’Neill told the court how, in the months leading up to the offence, his client struggled financially as a single mother supporting four children. He added: “She was given a loan of money which increased to the point where she owed £2500.

“There was pressure placed on her to repay the loan and that is when she started storing and distributing the substances.”

Passing a two-year custodial sentence, Sheriff Chris Jackson said: “I realise you were under pressure – but given the gravity of the offence, I am imposing a 24-month prison sentence.”