A FORMER civil servant involved in the supply of class A drugs has avoided prison after a three-year delay in court proceedings.

Sharon Latini, 57, now of Southcote Road, Bournemouth, was arrested in December 2017 after being concerned in the supply of cocaine and heroin.

The defendant was sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court on Monday, March 22.

Prosecuting, Paul Fairley told the court: “The police had gone to Sharon Latini’s home in Christchurch Road in Boscombe, information was received drugs were being supplied from that address.

“Officers found six people inside the property including Sharon Latini and the premises was searched.

“On the floor of the lounge there were two items containing 2.9g of cocaine and 3.4g of heroin, a small amount of cocaine in the other packet.”

Mr Fairley said in the bedroom was 2.72g of cocaine and a “larger amount” of class A drugs, namely 20.6g of heroin and 21.72g of cocaine in total.

It was estimated the drugs were worth between £6,927 and £8,022.

The court heard how Latini was enticed into the drug scene and developed a problem lasting 15 years.

When her money ran out, she became part of a “chain of supply” to fund her habit, however, since the arrest she had sought help for her problem and had not reoffended since.

Mitigating, Kevin Hill said she only saw her son and her friend now and described herself as “lonely” but for those two people.

Judge Stephen Climie said “ordinarily” a custodial sentence would be imposed, but because of the delay in proceedings and the guilty plea, Latini avoided a jail term.

She was given a three-year community order, a drug rehabilitation requirement, 40 rehabilitation requirement days and a curfew for six months from 6pm to 6am.

Judge Climie said: “You were enticed into trying class A drugs, if anybody in this court understands the impact of those drugs on life, you do.

“They have, for the last 15 or 16 years, devastated your life. They must have had a significant impact on your son, they are bound to have done, particularly in his late teens.

“In 2017, you were arrested because it was apparent that drug dealing was taking place from your home at that time.

“I am satisfied and accept that supply was primarily as a result of others funding your habit, you agreeing from time to time to supply other users.

“That puts your obviously in a chain of supply.

“There are two simple factors I must take into account, the first is your guilty plea three years after the event at the first opportunity and that you have demonstrated the ability to turn a corner in relation to the use of class A drugs, that is not straight forward.

“If we meet in the next three years you will be in this court room because you committed a further offence or failed to comply with the order you, will be going out the back door.”