A mum who won almost a million pounds on the National Lottery has narrowly avoided prison – after being caught selling HEROIN.
Nina Hughes, 43, was caught in a police sting flogging class A drugs heroin and crack – despite scooping a £700,000 jackpot.
The mum-of-four failed to turn her life around despite her massive windfall, she won in 2005, and now claims to be homeless and penniless.
Drug addict Hughes, who once had two properties in her home town of Dover, Kent, was told by Judge Simon James she was a person who blames everyone else but fails to take responsibility for her own actions.
During sentencing at Canterbury Crown Court last week, he said: “You are still hell-bent on a path of self-destruction and are still in the thrall of Class A drugs.”
Tom Dunn, defending, said after a series of relationships with “inadequate men”, who let her down, lead her to bringing up four children by herself.
He said: “She became homeless, began drinking and her life spiralled out of control but in 2005, after the birth of her fourth child, she enrolled at Dover South Kent College and became vice-president of the Students Union.
“Then an extraordinary piece of good fortune came her way when she won £691,000 on the National Lottery. She then bought two houses.”
The mum, who pleaded guilty to drugs offences, said she had been “chronically” addicted to heroin since 2013 after being introduced to it by her partner at the time.
Hughes said other addicts then took advantage of her and “she felt unable to turn them away” and she became “someone those higher up the chain felt they could exploit” by making her drive the dealer’s car around the town.
Judge James said: “To balance your troubled childhood you were the subject of enormous good fortune in your life but that, it seems, was unable to persuade you to change your ways.”
She was arrested under an anti-drugs swoop named Operation Victory which saw seen nine people receive jail sentences totalling more than 26 years.
Hughes was handed a three month curfew and a two-year suspended jail sentence after pleading admitted her part in being concerning in the supply of crack cocaine and heroin and possession of heroin.
Other defendants, all from Dover, Kent, received sentences up to six years and four months.
The group included Kenneth Nightingale, 55, who went behind bars for five years eight months, Alison Douglas, 49, who received a suspended sentence.
Matthew Dines, 30, was jailed for 30 months and Imran Hussain, 38, was sentenced to 18 months.
A/Detective Inspector Lopa McDermott said: “These people were arrested and charged following a painstaking and complex police operation which involved officers working tirelessly to secure evidence to take out those dealing in Class a drugs on the streets of Dover and Deal.
“The nine sentenced this week reflects hours of policing work by dedicated professionals keen to rid the town of illegal drugs and the crime that stems from the use of them.
“The operation resulted in a number of dawn raids across Dover where these dealers were given a rude awakening by our officers and now they have time to reflect on their actions in prison.
“Our message is simple; if you deal in the death, pain and misery of class A drugs, expect to be arrested and put before the courts.”