A drug-dealing mother and daughter who sold cannabis from their BMW emerged from court last week, having escaped jail terms. 47-year-old Sharon Chapman and her 25-year-old daughter, Lauren, were nabbed on August 12 2020.
Police pulled over the car near Lauren’s home in a Leicestershire village in response to a tip that the pair were selling drugs in Coventry and found cannabis worth more than £1,000 in the glove compartment. They were arrested. A search of their homes followed. Three cannabis plants and a quantity of cannabis, some in a Quality Street tin, were found at Sharon’s home. Lauren, meanwhile, had £1,150 of cash, cannabis, a grinder, a roll of deal bags and scales. Her drug-dealing enabled Lauren, who is also a mother, to splash out on a BMW despite being unemployed.
The pair admitted to possessing cannabis with intent to supply but avoided going to jail after appearing at Warwick Crown Court on Monday 21 June 2021. Afterwards, Lauren, clad in a pink crop top and black leggings and described as a “glam drug dealer” by the Daily Star newspaper, was pictured smiling broadly outside the court.
The recorder termed Lauren’s drug-dealing “significant” and warranting a 12-month sentence. But he told her he didn’t pack her off to jail because although she “clearly” had “quite a flourishing cannabis supply operation,” she had a young daughter for whom she is the sole carer. He conceded that she only sold to friends and acquaintances. Her mother was spared prison because, although she was “quite a heavy user of cannabis over the years” – about a quarter of an ounce a day – this was the first time she had dealt the drug. It was her daughter who got her involved.
Lauren, who lives in Stoke Golding in Leicestershire, was given a 12-month jail sentence suspended for two years and instructed to complete 120 hours of unpaid work. Sharon, who lives in Stoke in Coventry, was given a 12-month community order. Both also had to undertake rehabilitation activities and pay £525 of costs.
Lauren initially claimed the cannabis was for her personal use, and she had purchased so much – five ounces – because it was hard to get hold of. Messages on her mobile phone, however, proved that this was a fib: she had 33 customers. The recorder declared that Sharon “was aware of the nature and scale of her daughter’s operation.” After all, Lauren had a BMW, where previously she had a mini. Mysteriously, she was allowed to keep it despite it clearly being funded by the proceeds of crime.
Beth Crocker, who defended Lauren, stated, “She has been petrified at the outcome” and “This case has been a real wake-up call for her.” Tim Banks, defending Sharon, commented that she knew of her daughter’s drug-dealing but received no benefit from it.