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Married West Cumbria couple made illegal offer to sell prescribed painkiller

Liam and Clare Stratton

A MARRIED couple who made an “opportunistic” criminal bid to sell a prescribed painkiller have received suspended prison sentences.

Suspicion fell on Clare Stratton, 44, and her 38-year-old husband, Liam, after a woman received a private Facebook message last November asking “if she knew anyone who would like to buy some Tramadol”, Carlisle Crown Court heard today (WED).

At the couple’s home, police found three 100-tablet boxes of Tramadol which was prescribed to Clare Stratton. If sold, these could have had a £150 total street value. “This appears to be,” said prosecutor Francis McEntee, “an opportunistic attempt to make some cash from class C drugs which were in their possession.”

The couple, of Devon Road, Hensingham, Whitehaven, admitted being concerned in making an offer to supply Tramadol.

Clare Stratton had stopped talking the painkiller because of adverse effects, said her barrister Jamie Baxter, before a “ridiculous” bid was made to sell Tramadol at a time when the couple were in “dire financial straits” at a “low point in their lives”.

Clare and Liam Stratton – both of previous good character – had 10-week jail terms suspended for 12 months, and were made subject to two-month night-time curfews and rehabilitation.

Judge Simon Medland QC told the couple: “You were seeking to divert prescribed medication provided for you at public expense with little or no thought as to the consequences for anybody who might have taken it.”

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