Jailed: Woman shooting drugs on streets of Bethnal Green in front of children flouting court bans to stay away
PUBLISHED: 08:03 13 March 2019 | UPDATED: 11:45 13 March 2019
A woman shooting drugs in the street in front of children and persistently flouting court orders for four years banning her from housing estates in Bethnal Green has been jailed.
Samantha Lawrence, 41, was given 18 months by Central London county court after Tower Hamlets Council collected evidence from families which helped secure a heavier sentence than usual for breaching anti-social behaviour orders.
Lawrence persistently flouted behaviour orders since 2015 banning her from Bethnal Green and “shamelessly” taking drugs on the streets in front of children.
She loitered around Ravenscroft Street off Hackney Road and the Dorset Estate with “intimidating” behaviour, according to statements the council gathered from tenants reporting that they were “verbally assaulted” when they asked her to leave their blocks of flats.
Lawrence had previously served 21 days for breaching behaviour orders, carrying drugs paraphernalia and committing what the local authority deemed anti-social behaviour, the judge heard.
The families complained that children had seen her use drugs paraphernalia and said claimed she had encouraged others to buy Class A drugs from dealers.
“We will take action against such perpetrators,” Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs warned. “I’m pleased that our officers were able to demonstrate to the court the impact her anti-social behaviour has had on people’s lives.”
The authority said it recognised the blight anti-social behaviour had on those who should be able to “go about their daily lives without facing this kind of unacceptable behaviour”.
Lawrence, who lives in Hackney, rejected many offers of drug treatment and support services over the years by both Tower Hamlets and Hackney councils, Judge Jan Luba noted.
She would attend counselling sessions—then drop out, time and again. Council enforcement officers would then pick her up on the streets again.