A lottery winner who ran a home-made drugs supply network because she feared her friends could die from deadly street deals has been spared prison so she can help to rehabilitate young addicts.
Wealthy Maxine Holmes manufactured a big stash of the “date rape” drug GHB after learning that lethal mixes had killed two local people and left others seriously ill, Bradford Crown Court heard.
She manufactured three kilogrammes, with a value of up to £44,000, and stored it in 24 tubs in a sports bag in the garage at her home at Grove Mill Drive, Keighley.
The court heard Holmes, 39, was herself a massive user of GHB and made it in bulk to avoid over-exposure to the strong chemical smell when she boiled it up.
Prosecutor Philip Adams told the court that police raided Holmes’ house on October 21 last year and seized the GHB, along with amphetamine, M-Cat and GBL.
Holmes pleaded guilty to production of GHB and possession of the drug with intent to supply.
She also admitted possessing amphetamine, M-Cat and GBL with intent to supply and possession of cocaine and cannabis for her own use.
Holmes pleaded guilty to having a prohibited weapon after police found a CS canister in a safe at her home.
Mr Adams said that “at first blush” it was hard to accept that Holmes supplied that amount of drugs non-commercially to close friends only.
But she herself got through a tub of GHB every four days and had turned out to be very successful at manufacturing it.
Her solicitor advocate, Tom Rushbrooke, said her cash “windfall” should have made her very happy but pain in her joints had led to a deep-seated drug addiction.
She had “a substantial amount of money in her own right” and, as a social drug dealer, charged just enough to cover her costs.
“She was trying to help her friends by making safe drugs,” Mr Rushbrooke said.
Holmes was now drug-free and working for Project 6, Keighley’s street drug and alcohol project.
Mr Rushbrooke said Holmes was a valuable asset to the project, pointing out the dangers of illegal drugs and helping people fight their addiction.
Judge James Goss QC said it was “an exceptional case”.
He accepted that Holmes was a social and not a commercial drug dealer and yesterday sentenced her to 43 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, with supervision and 250 hours unpaid work.
Judge Goss told her: “You are very fortunate, Maxine Holmes. I hope you have learned from this.”
Telegraph and Argus 5th July 2011
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