A SINGLE mum who turned to dealing cannabis after her benefits got ‘frozen’ has been spared immediateljail.

Drug addict Ann Cole, 40, was caught after police raided her home in April and found a stash of the drug in a locked wooden box in her wardrobe, as well as more than £100 cash.

Cole told police she had been selling cannabis since before last Christmas, to about four people she knew, Burnley Crown Court heard.

The hearing was told the defendant, who has never been in trouble before, said she kept the drugs in her bedroom, out of the way ‘of the kids’.

Cole, of Prescott Street, Burnley, had admitted possessing cann -abis with intent to supply and had been committed for sentence by the town’s magistrates. She was sentenced to 24 weeks in custody, suspended for a year, with a six month drug rehabilitation requirement.

Michael Maher, prosecuting, said police executed a warrant at Prescott Street Cole allowed officers in, they explained they were looking for cannabis and she immediately told them there was some in the house and took them to the rear bedroom.

The drugs were in a clear bag in the locked box and were worth about £70 on the streets.

The prosecutor said Cole was asked why she had the drugs and she told officers she had resorted to selling cannabis after her benefits were frozen from June to December, last year. Mr Maher said she was making a “modest” profit, at £40 an ounce.

Cole suffered from deep vein thrombosis, took methadone and heroin and was attending Inspire to try and rid herself of her addiction.

Richard Taylor, for Cole, said she had two children and also looked after a third.

Judge Ian Leeming told Cole: “I am prepared to accept it was a narrow circle.

“You have a number of good qualities, as well as having some deficiencies.”