Police stopped a woman in Cardiff who was riding a mobility scooter and smelled strongly of cannabis – then found she was carrying a stun gun.
Yvonne Harvey told the officers she was carrying the weapon “for protection” because she and her partner had had their home broken into.
But she was this week given a suspended sentence after admitting possessing cannabis and amphetamine, possessing a prohibited weapon, and being concerned in the supply of a Class B drug.
Richard Ace, prosecuting at Cardiff Crown Court on Monday, said: “At 2.20am on March 15, 2018, officers saw the defendant riding on a mobility scooter travelling on Fishguard Road in Llanishen. She smelled strongly of cannabis and appeared to be intoxicated.”
She told the officers she did not think she had anything with her she should not have had.
Police searched the scooter and found a stun gun along with two small bags of cannabis and bags of amphetamine. They also found two further bags of amphetamine in her shorts, reports Wales Online.
Harvey was taken to Cardiff Bay police station and further searched. A lock knife was found in her handbag and two phones were seized with two additional sim cards.
Her home was searched and Mr Sherwood was there. Police carried out a “thorough search” of the property. They found a tin containing bags of cannabis plus weighing scales and a tick list.
When she was interviewed she said the drugs were nothing to do with her. She said she had the stun gun and knife “for protection” because her house had been broken into.
Her phone was examined and found to contain messages between June 2017 and March 2018 relating to cannabis. The court heard there was one saying: “Can I pinch some bud?”
Mr Ace said the case was delayed “for a number of reasons” including an assessment of her partner Ellis Sherwood, 51, who was initially a co-defendant in the case.
He added: “Charges were not tendered until late in the day which led to significant delay.”
Prosecutors said Ms Harvey had a “limited” history of offending including a drug-related caution in 2017. She was also cautioned for possessing an offensive weapon in 2011.
Harvey, 47, from Ty Glas Road in Llanishen, Wales, admitted possessing cannabis and amphetamine, possessing a prohibited weapon, and being concerned in the supply of a Class B drug.
She entered a basis of plea, which was accepted by the Crown, limiting her involvement to supplying to family and friends.
Marian Lewis, defending, said: “There have been difficulties in the area as far as this defendant is concerned.”
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The court heard she lived with Mr Sherwood, who had a lot of money, and their home was burgled.
Ms Lewis added: “Mr Sherwood did receive substantial compensation for a false conviction many years ago. He does have significant means.
“There was an attack on her home by others and, rightly or wrongly, she had this item in her possession. It was never used.”
Mr Sherwood met Harvey soon after being released from prison. South Wales Police paid Mr Sherwood £200,000 in compensation for a wrongful arrest leading to a lengthy prison sentence in 1987.
He suffered a stroke in 2001 – two years after he was released. The stroke was a result of the drug use he picked up in prison and left him with epilepsy, impaired speech, and limited use of his right arm.
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Ms Lewis told the court Mr Sherwood had “significant health problems”. She said Harvey, his main carer, was a drug user “in small amounts”.
The defence barrister said the amounts of cannabis and amphetamine found on her were “tiny” and consistent with personal use. She said her client’s involvement was limited to supplying to three people “on half a dozen occasions – no more. The odd bud here or there”.
Ms Lewis pointed out the offences dated back more than two years and asked for a community order.
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Recorder Timothy Brennan QC said she was “engaged in drug culture”. He noted the offending happened “a considerable time ago”.
He said a custodial sentence was inevitable but he took into account her caring responsibilities and “concern for the national state of health and the pressures that will put on public services and the prison estate”.
Recorder Brennan imposed a six-month prison sentence, suspended for 15 months, and ordered her to complete 15 days of a rehabilitation activity. He made an order for the drugs and paraphernalia to be destroyed.
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