Watford grandmother Karen O'Neill caught dealing cocaine

A former pub landlady was caught dealing cocaine from the back of a taxi in Watford.

Grandmother Karen O'Neill, 49, was stopped just after midnight when police spotted a taxi being driven around in circles in the Nascot Road area.

Prosecutor Ann Evans said O'Neill owned up to what she was doing immediately and said: "I have got cocaine in the bag. I don't know how much there is."

When it was analysed it was found to have a street value of between £920 and £1,380. She also had £720.10 in cash with her.

O'Neill, of High View, Watford, pleaded guilty to possessing a Class A drug with intent to supply on August 29 last year. She had received a suspended jail sentence in 2009 for selling drugs.

Richard Storey, defending, said O'Neill was dealing drugs that night to pay off the drug debts of a son. "There had been threats to her family and children and she agreed to do it. There was no financial gain for her whatsoever. She had been vulnerable and was exploited," he said.

He said she had led a blameless life until she was 45 when she suffered a breakdown after the death of a grandchild which had a "massive effect on her".

Judge Stephen Gullick adjourned sentence until February 27. He said he hoped the police had alerted the licensing authority to the taxi driver's actions.

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