Nordelph woman given suspended jail term for drug supply role

Court news
Court news

A woman from West Norfolk has been given a suspended jail sentence for her part in a major cocaine supply chain which spread across five counties.

Claire Godden, 36, of Thorpe Terrace, Nordelph, was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years, during a hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday.

She had pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to supply cocaine, dated from between Janaury and October 2015, last month, on the eve of a scheduled trial.

The court heard that Godden, a mother of four, is currently six months pregnant with twins.

And, passing sentence, Judge Patricia Lynch QC told her: “I do it for your family, not for you.

“You have four children. Any feelings you have should be for those four children.”

Godden was one of 11 defendants to be sentenced for their part in the plot, which is believed to have supplied up to one kilogram of cocaine every month.

Eight of them were jailed for a total of 46 years, receiving sentences of between four and eight years respectively.

Three others, included Godden, had prison terms of between 18 months and two years, suspended.

The gang were finally brought to justice after police bugged a series of cars owned by its ringleader, 40-year-old Bradley Stantiford, probed phone records and used covert surveillance to round up the gang members.

Their supply network spread across Hertfordshire, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk.

And, when police raided Stantiford’s “cocaine store” in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, they found supplies of the class A drug with an estimated street value of £70,000.

Stantiford received the longest sentence of all the defendants, eight years.

Godden met Stantiford on 12 separate occasions, mostly at a service station near Cambridge and a McDonalds restaurant on the M11 near Harlow.

During those meetings, she gave him between £30,000 and £40,000 in cash.

The court was told that she had become friends with Stantiford after having a relationship with him in 2014.

And mitigating barrister Stephen Bailey said her client she was a courier of money, not drugs.

He said Gooden had believed Stantiford was a low level drug dealer in the Norwich area or would not have put her four children in jeopardy.

He also argued that Godden was vulnerable and had been exploited because of her previous relationship with Stantiford, which she hoped would be rekindled.

Mr Bailey said: “Stantiford asked her to transfer packages for him. She knew it was money from drug dealing.

“She put her head in he sand but was prepared to do that because of her feelings. She took a risk.”

Mr Bailey said Godden had bought and sold dogs and given riding lessions. She also hoped to set up a riding school.

However, he added that one of the twins she was expecting in three months’ time didn’t have a foetal heartbeat.

All the defendants will face a further hearing next February to confiscate their assets.