Berkhamsted drug-dealer spared prison three years after friends died from overdoses at her 18th birthday party


A judge told a woman caught dealing drugs that she should have learned her lesson after two of her friends died from overdoses at her 18th birthday party.

Paige Jackson’s red Corsa was stopped by police in Berkhamsted High Street at 8.40pm on Saturday, May 18, St Albans Crown Court heard.

The 21-year-old cried as she entered the dock for the second time to be sentenced for supplying a class A drug.

The court heard how she was caught with 5.156 grams of MDMA powder – valued at between £38 and £105 – and text messages on her phone that indicated dealing.

MDMA powder is the active ingredient of party drug ecstasy.

Judge Andrew Bright QC said: “If anyone has got in mind the dangers of abusing Class A drugs it ought to be you.

“I am totally baffled why you have not learned your lesson. Dabbling in drugs has potentially fatal consequences.”

In February 2011 Jackson, of Holly Drive, Berkhamsted, pleaded guilty to being involved in the supply of Class A drugs and received a 26-week sentence suspended for two years.

It followed the deaths of Ben Walters, 18, and Lindsey Wilson, 27, who had taken morphine at her party in a flat in Priory Court, Berkhamsted, in January 2010.

Dennis Montero, 60, of Joel Street, Northwood Hills, north-west London, admitted supplying Class A drugs and was jailed for three years.

In the new case, prosecutor Shelaigh Davies said there was a strong smell of cannabis coming from Jackson’s car when she was stopped by police earlier this year.

Ms Davies said: “An officer saw her fiddling with her leggings. She was taken to the police station and it was found she had secreted MDMA powder.”

Jackson, who now lives in Vale Road, Aylesbury, pleaded guilty to supplying a Class A drug. She also had a conviction for driving with excess alcohol.

Defence barrister Robert Spencer Bernard said the death of two friends at her party had ‘hit her very, very hard indeed’.

He said she had gone through a very rough patch and had wasted the last two or three years of her life.

But he said she now has a job and a future ahead of her.

Judge Bright said he gave her credit for being frank about her problems and the references from her employer.

Passing a 21-month jail sentence suspended for two years, he said: “You are a young woman with real potential. Locking you up for a while would forever ruin your life.”

Jackson will be under supervision for two years, must carry out eight specified activities and abide by a curfew between 9pm and 6am on Thursday to Sunday evenings for the next six months.

She must stay at her father’s address in St Edmunds, Berkhamsted, or her mother’s in Vale Road, Aylesbury. She must also pay £600 prosecution costs and a £100 victim surcharge.

The judge said: “You will get no more chances from me. If you don’t comply with the conditions, to prison you will go.”