A FEMALE cocaine trafficker who claimed she was selling drugs because she was living in fear of a dealer further up the chain avoided jail.

Frankie O’Brian, of Wordsworth Close, Ebbw Vale, was peddling the class A drugs to relieve pressure to so from an unnamed man, Cardiff Crown Court heard.

She was called a “low level street dealer” who sold cocaine to pay off her own debt and fund her own habit after becoming an addict.

Prosecutor Gareth James said O’Brian, a 29-year-old former hospital care worker, had no previous convictions.

He told Judge David Wynn Morgan police raided her home on July 6 last year and found drugs with a value of between £175 and £200.


They also discovered small weighing scales, £50 in cash and an iPhone which contained a “number of drug-related messages”.

O’Brian, a mother, was also being paid for deals via internet banking transactions after giving out her account details.

She pleaded guilty to possessing a class A drug with intent to supply on the basis that she was selling drugs under “duress” and that she only traded to friends to fund her own habit.

Her barrister Jeffrey Jones said in mitigation his client had a “borderline personality disorder” and the drug dealer who befriender her exploited that.

He told the court: “She became addicted to cocaine at an old age. It was the beginning of her downfall.”

Mr Jones said O’Brian was now drug-free and added: “This was a mistake and it is not to be repeated.

“She assures the court that she has turned the corner and has learned her lesson.”

She was, he told the judge, still “fearful” of this drug dealer and still owes him money.

Judge Wynn Morgan said O’Brian had acted “extraordinarily naively and showed a lack of judgement”.

But he told her that the effect of sending her into immediate custody would be “catastrophic” on her and said he was imposing a suspended jail term because of the “extremely unusual circumstances” of the case.

The judge jailed her for two years, suspended for two years, and told her she must complete a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

She must also pay a victim surcharge.

The judge granted the forfeiture and destruction of the cocaine and the £50 seized will be handed over to Gwent Police’s drugs squad.

The court heard unemployed O’Brian did not have the means to pay anything towards the £1,200 prosecution costs.