Mum dealt cannabis with her own son from family home – and took orders over text

A mum dealt drugs with her son from the family home, a court was told.

Sharon Cowhig, 52, even took orders for cannabis from son Jake, 25, via texts to help run the family's criminal business.

Jake had a "tick list" titled "The Graft" showing amounts of cash owed, totalling more than £31,000.

Police found his vacuum sealing machine during a raid at the home in Kirkby, Liverpool, while officers also seized "designer clothes", and flash Rolex and Omega watches – worth "about £30,000" – during another, the Liverpool Echo reports.

Liverpool Crown Court heard how text messages on his phone revealed the drug dealer had involved his mum in his operation.

In one message he said: "Can you do 3.45 of that orangeese for the fella will be outside in a white bmw for 30 pound he needs tenner change."

In other texts he asked "Mum can u do 6.9 of L.sherb for 70 for lil karl hunter" and "Mum can u do 1.75 of skittle cake 2 for 20 for lad outside".

Police first raided the family's home at 7.10am on July 2, 2020, when Jake and his mum and dad were all present.

Zillah Williams, prosecuting, said Jake identified which was his bedroom, where "officers found a large amount of cannabis in his drawers".

She said: "Also found were digital scales and a tick list entitled 'The Graft'. The amounts on the tick list if one adds up all the figures come to a little over £31,000.

"There were also snap bags and a vacuum sealing machine."

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Jake told police the items were his, but claimed the cannabis was for his own use and denied any knowledge of the tick list, before he answered no comment to other questions and was released under investigation.

The court heard there were 17 packages of cannabis, weighing 596g in total, with an estimated street value at the lowest estimate of £6,056.

Ms Williams said officers then analysed Jake's mobile phone, which revealed not only his dealing in cannabis, but that his mum "was concerned in the supply of Class B drugs in a supporting role".

The court heard Jake sent 11 texts to his contact "Mum" in just a three-hour period on June 26 last year, all asking her about dealing drugs.

As a result, police asked her to attend Huyton Police Station on December 3, when she was arrested and gave a no comment interview.

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Ms Williams said: "While the text messages relating to Sharon Cowhig are all from a single day, the tone of them suggest that this is normal for Sharon Cowhig.

"For instance, Sharon Cowhig does not ask for any explanation or detail from her son and clearly understands and is familiar with the terminology."

While she was being questioned, officers searched their home again.

This time they found six packages of cannabis, weighing 49.6g in total, with an estimated value of £345, plus snap bags, scales, £190 in cash and "a number of high value items".

Ms Williams said there was "some conjecture" about whether these were genuine, but police seized "designer clothes, a Rolex watch and an Omega watch, with an estimated value of about £30,000."

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Jake was arrested and gave a no comment interview.

He later admitted two counts of possessing cannabis with intent to supply, while his mum admitted being concerned in the supply of cannabis.

Jake has one previous conviction for possessing cannabis in 2014, for which he received a conditional discharge, and two cautions for possessing the drug in 2013.

Ian Whitehurst, defending Jake, said his client was remorseful, still relatively young, had no previous convictions for drug trafficking and a "decent employment history" until this was affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.

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He said his supportive girlfriend was in the public gallery and added: "Critically he has reduced his drug usage, which was spiralling out of control."

Mr Whitehurst said his client had been to see his GP, had a phone appointment booked with the charity Change Grow Live, and urged the judge to spare him jail so he could be rehabilitated in the community.

Peter Killen, defending Sharon, who had no previous convictions, said a pre-sentence report showed she had "a large amount of regret" about her "lack of judgement" in getting involved.

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He said: "She was undertaking a directed role, she had no influence on other people and her role was limited."

Mr Killen said the mum was remorseful, had a "very low risk of reoffending" and jailing her would have a significant harmful impact on others.

He said she had cared for her husband who has medical problems for around 10 years and also cared for her partially sighted 87-year-old mum.

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