A WOMAN who said her home had been taken over by a London drug dealer to use as a base for his Oxford operations has been given a suspended sentence.

A jury found Philomena Wall guilty of two counts of possession with intent to supply after police found 45 wraps of heroin and a quantity of crack cocaine at her St Clements flat during a raid in April 2017.

However, at the sentencing at Oxford Crown Court yesterday, Judge Zoe Smith decided Miss Wall, who had described the man as her partner, was actually a victim herself of so-called 'cuckooing'.

The court heard how police had visited Miss Wall's flat looking for the known drug dealer, however, instead found the 31-year-old care worker home alone.

Judge Smith said it was 'quite clear' the man had been using the property in order to have a base in Oxford to deal his drugs and admitted she was taking 'exceptional' measures in handing down a two year sentence suspended for two years.

She told Miss Wall, who has been diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorders: "Being involved in anyway in class A drug dealing is a serious offence and will be met with a sentence of imprisonment - this was street dealing although I think your role was as a custodian."

She added: "You were vulnerable, and I think exploited by the man in his trade of drug trafficking."