A NELSON mum whose house was used as a base for a cocaine dealing oper-ation has been jailed for two years.

Burnley Crown Court heard how Sonia Sikander, 23, then an addict, was thought by the the police to have a runner working for her.

She, however, claimed she was acting under the influence of her partner, who was in jail and was send-ing her letters. But a judge said he was not there to intimidate her, or force her to do anything, and she could have burned the mail.

The hearing was told how, when officers raided Sikander’s then home, in Newport Street, last May, they found £20 street wraps of cocaine, scales, snap bags, and plastic gloves.

Sikander was using the fingertips of latex gloves to bag up drugs, and was supplying some cocaine on tick. Her mobile phone contained drugs-related mess-ages, and Sikander boasted she had ‘gram after gram’.

Sikander had admitted possessing cocaine with int- ent to supply.

Stephen Parker, prosecuting, said police recovered six wraps of cocaine, each three grams, from an under-stairs cupboard in the liv-ing room.

Mr Parker said Sikander claimed she had had a house party and coc-aine may have been left by people. She said the phone messages were not hers, or related to items other than drugs.

Nick Dearing, for Sikander, said she did not accept she had people work- ing for her, in fact, quite the opposite.

Her partner, who had subjected her to domestic violence, was curr- ently serving a long jail term for supplying Class A drugs. He had exposed her to cocaine, she had a sign-ificant addiction, and offen- ded to finance her habit.

He continued: “She was a vulnerable, naive young lady, who was open and ripe for exploitation from associates of her partner. They used her home as a base for their dealing oper- ation. They provided her with drugs and would send members of the group to pick up drugs, which she would bag.”

Mr Dearing said she no longer took drugs and had worked hard to try and turn her life around.

Sentencing, Judge Beverley Lunt said: “Plainly, you knew exactly what you were doing, and it’s perh-aps worse that, being an add- ict and knowing how evil this drug is, you were prep- ared to give it to other people.”