A DRUG dealer’s girlfriend has been spared an immediate jail sentence after a judge heard how she had been bullied into taking part by her abusive boyfriend.

Anna Harkins was found with drugs messages and a dealer’s list on her phone and allowed her bank account to be used by partner Mitchell Hannis.

She was living in Gloucester and travelled to his temporary base in South Devon to help him sell cannabis and cocaine during the first Covid lockdown in 2020.

He fled naked onto a roof at his top-floor flat in Torquay when it was raided and was seen by police trying to eat his stash of cannabis and throwing drugs, wrappings and cocaine-dusted scales off the roof.

Police found hundreds of pounds worth of cocaine in his bedside table alongside £135 cash hidden in a sunglasses case.

Harkins was helping in the operation with some customers using online banking to pay for their drugs with credits into her bank account.

Analysis of their phones showed they had sold cocaine in amounts which varied from a few grams to 28 gram one ounce deals which they sold for £1,620.

Harkins, aged 33, of Musket Close, Gloucester, admitted being concerned in the supply of cocaine and cannabis and was jailed for two years, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 90 hours unpaid community work by Judge David Evans at Exeter Crown Court.

Hannis, aged 26, of Kingsbridge Mews, Gloucester, was jailed for three years and four months in November after admitting the same charges.

Judge Evans told Harkins he was suspending the sentence for the sake of her nine-year-old child.

He said: ‘There is significant personal mitigation. You had an adverse upbringing and there is a background of domestic abuse and poor mental health. You have caring responsibilities.’

Mr Herc Ashworth, prosecuting, said police raided a flat in Warbro Road, Torquay, on the morning of May 14, 2020 and seized around 20 grams of cocaine, £30 worth of cannabis, £135 cash and phones.

He said: ‘Harkins was in bed and Hannis was naked on the roof where he was throwing or attempting to eat bags of cannabis. He also threw away plastic bags and a set of scales. There was some attempt to dispose of the evidence.’

Mr Paul Dentith, defending, said Harkins was bullied into taking part in the drug dealing by Hannis, who exercised coercion and control over her in their relationship.

He said: ‘She was engaged through grooming and control. She was exploited. The only real benefit to her was not to suffer actual abuse and threats or violence towards her.’