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Worker for charity got client to buy her Valium.

Byline: BRONTE HOWARD Reporter bronte,howard@walesonline.co.uk

A WOMAN who worked for a homeless charity has been given a suspended prison sentence after buying dozens of Valium tablets from a "vulnerable" client.

Rebecca Shead, of Dock View Road, Barry, appeared in Cardiff Crown Court for sentencing on Monday after pleading guilty to inciting another to supply class C drugs.

The court heard that the 42-year-old started working for Wallich, a charity that helps homeless and vulnerable people, in 2015 and was employed as a senior support worker.

Shead developed a close friendship with one of her clients, referred to in court as KG, and even bought the client a watch for Christmas.

In spring of 2016, Shead asked KG to sell her street-bought Valium tablets.

According to prosecutor Johnathan Rees, KG was a user of the charity and had struggled with drug addiction herself.

At the time of the incident, KG was using cannabis, street-bought Valium and prescribed methadone.

Her relationship with Shead was described as a "relationship of trust", with Judge Michael Fitton QC describing KG as a "vulnerable" client.

The court heard that Shead, who has a six-month-old daughter, suffered from mental health problems and had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, depression and a personality disorder - for which she was taking various antidepressants.

Following a car accident that left her with a fractured shoulder, Shead was also prescribed Valium - a brand name for diazepam, a calming drug often prescribed for anxiety disorders - by her GP for a short period of time.

But, because of the drug's addictiveness and because of her other medications, Shead's GP decided to stop prescribing the drug.

Shead, who at the time was in a troubled relationship, turned to KG and asked her to buy strips of Valium pills from the street and sell them to her, the court heard.

Probation officer Natasha Pattemoresaid: "At the time she was suffering from her mental health, she had a car crash and had suffered a shoulder injury.

"She said she felt like she had been overworked at the time and with the problems she was having, she didn't know where to turn to, so that was why she asked KG for valium."

Defending, Ieuan Bennet, asked the judge to consider Shead's early guilty plea and the fact she was a mother.

Judge Fitton handed Shead a six-week custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months and ordered her to take part in a 15-day rehabilitation programme.

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Nov 21, 2018
Words:423
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