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Abingdon mum started cannabis dealing after meeting new boyfriend


Oct 14, 2022

A mum-of-two fell into dealing cannabis after starting a relationship with a new man.

When Stacey Bartholomew, 32, was arrested at her home in Abingdon last June, she had three small wraps of cocaine in her bumbag together with two phones and £45 in cash.

In her diary, left on a table, was a ‘tick list’ of customers who owed her money. Around 70g of cannabis was found together with digital scales and plastic deal bags.

In a safe was around £14,000 in cash, although the court heard that this was money she had saved with her brother ‘for a rainy day’.

The cash was said to have been confiscated by the police in the magistrates’ court and, at an earlier hearing, prosecutors dropped a charge that the cash was the proceeds of drug dealing.

When she was interviewed by detectives, Bartholomew answered no comment to questions about her alleged cannabis dealing. She repeated the claim she had made to police during the raid that the cocaine found in her bumbag was for her own personal use.

Peter du Feu, mitigating for Bartholomew on Thursday, told Oxford Crown Court that that had been a lie. His client had in fact confiscated the cocaine from a friend. She did not take drugs herself.

The mum-of-two had got involved in cannabis at the suggestion and with the support of her then partner.

She was said to have been glad of the police intervention in 2021, as her life was ‘spiralling out of control’.

“She’s been able to put herself back on an even keel. Those 12 months [waiting for the court case] could have seen her go off the rails. Quite the contrary,” Mr du Feu said. There was ‘no suggestion she will ever transgress again’.

Bartholomew, of Gainsborough Green, Abingdon, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of cannabis and simple possession of cocaine. She had never been in trouble before.

Sentencing, Judge Nigel Daly said: “Ms Bartholomew, you’re rather an unusual person to appear before those courts. You have no previous convictions. You don’t take drugs. You don’t have problems with alcohol and yet here you are before me.”

He imposed an 18 month community order as an alternative to custody, ordering she do 100 hours of unpaid work and 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

The judge added: “You have a family, you have two children – a daughter and a son. You have got people who you look after. But you do have this habit of getting into relationships with unpleasant partners and you have suffered as a result.

“Your references show this was out of character, you have no previous convictions and you have not been involved in any crime or criminal activity since.”

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward