A COUPLE who allowed their home in Latchford to be used for dealing drugs have been spared jail.

Mark Johnson and Kelly Lynskey’s flat on Boydell Avenue was used for heroin and cocaine to be bagged up before being sold.

But on Friday, May 25, they were spared an immediate prison sentence at Warrington Crown Court.

The court heard that the property was raided by Cheshire Police at around 10am on Wednesday, September 13, after the force had received information that drugs were being dealt from the property.

Occupants of the Golden Gates Housing Trust-owned flat Johnson and Lynskey were discovered downstairs in the living room with a 17-year-old boy found attempting to flee via an upstairs bedroom window.

He was found in possession with a number of wraps of heroin and cocaine, including drugs stashed in two plastic bags in his boxers.

Further drugs and associated paraphernalia was found throughout the flat.

Around £40 worth of cocaine was found in Johnson’s pocket and shoe.

The court heard that the 17-year-old had visited the premises to sell drugs to Johnson and Lynskey, and that he had used their flat to package drugs while they visited the post office to withdrawn money in order to pay for their substances.

This conflicted with evidence heard during the youth’s earlier sentencing, which stated that he had been packaging drugs at the couple’s home for five days at the time the warrant was executed.

Johnson and Lynskey , who are aged 51 and 37 respectively, had been due for sentencing on the same date at Chester Crown Court earlier this month.

But their appearnce was adjourned when a man in his 20s was found dead in their home on the morning of that day, Wednesday, May 2.

His death is not believed to be suspicious.

Barrister Anthony Rose, representing the pair, said: “The circumstances are that they did allow their premises to be used by the youth on this occasion for the purpose of bagging up and preparing drugs for sale.

“Beyond that, they had no involvement in the operation of supplying drugs.

“These are two defendants with long-standing drug habits - fundamentally, they are drug users who have been sucked into the operation to supply drugs but there was no personal gain for them.

“The amount of drugs found was not inconsiderable, but it was nothing to do with these defendants.

“This is a case where it would be appropriate to suspend the custodial sentence.”

Both Johnson, who has 53 previous convictions for 117 offences, and Lynskey, who had 16 convictions for 28 offences on her record, had previously admitted allowing a premises to be used for the supply of cocaine and heroin.

But recorder Michael Blakey handed them both jail sentences of six months, suspended for a year.

They were also ordered to serve a rehabilitation activity requirement of up to 35 days and ordered to pay a victim surcharge.

Sentencing, recorder Blakey said: “They were your premises and you permitted them to be used for the preparation of evil drugs.

“Both of you have appalling criminal records but you have no previous convictions relating to the supply of drugs.

“These offences are so serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified, but this sentence can be suspended in the circumstances.

“Here is your chance - don’t blow it.”

Forfeiture and destruction of the drugs and paraphernalia was previously ordered.

The youth was also spared prison, having been previously handed a rehabilitation order and a curfew.