IT has been nearly two years since a drug addict turned dealer who allowed her Worcester home to be used as a base by a Liverpool gang was jailed after walking out of rehab.

The judge said he had no choice but to jail Elaine Pritchard after she repaid an ‘act of mercy’ by walking out of care farm Willowdene in a ‘fit of pique’, breaching the terms of her suspended sentence.

The 46-year-old had arrived at Worcester Crown Court looking pale and gaunt, carrying her belongings in a black bin liner and a carrier bag.

The haggard drug addict showed no emotion as Judge Robert Juckes QC activated a two year suspended sentence imposed for conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine in Worcester.

The original sentence had been suspended for two years by Judge Jim Tindal but the breach came within just six days when Pritchard walked out of Willowdene.

She had been required to live there as part of work to help rehabilitate her and wean her off class A drugs.

We previously reported how Pritchard was used by Neil Hyatt, nicknamed ‘Scouse’, who set up shop in her home in Donaldson Court, Princes Street, Diglis as part of a so-called ‘cuckooing’ operation.

Hyatt, aged 35, of Prescott Road, Liverpool was jailed for five and a half years for a managerial role in the same conspiracy; Nicholas Grainger, aged 39, of Park Street, Worcester, for three years; Ben Kelly, 19, of Prescott Road, Liverpool received two years in prison suspended for two years.

Arrests were made after officers had been on patrol in Diglis earlier that year, as part of an operation to tackle ‘County Lines’ dealing.

Officers seized wraps of heroin and crack cocaine in cling-film and two mobile phones.

Hyatt was found with around £1,000 in tightly rolled notes in cling film and a further £622 in notes and coins. The phones were found to contain advertising messages sent out to users, one of which, read ‘biggest and best about’.

Kelly was also found with £1,000 cash, 10 wraps of heroin and crack cocaine and also a train ticket from Liverpool to Worcester.

Grainger’s address in Park Street, Worcester, was raided where police seized digital scales and a Kinder egg used to conceal drugs.

A probation officer, prosecuting Pritchard’s breach, asked that the sentence be activated as residence at Willowdene had been the ‘key element’ of her original sentence.

Mark Sheward, defending, said: “She pleaded guilty on the basis this was a cuckooing case - others had taken over her address, providing heroin for her addiction as payment for her allowing that address to be used.”

Mr Sheward said she had made friends with a woman at Willowdene but this woman was asked to leave.

“Miss Pritchard left in a fit of pique” he said.

Jailing her for two years, Judge Juckes said Pritchard had been warned she would have to serve the the sentence if she did not comply with the order and that if courts did not activate suspended sentences they became ‘meaningless’.

“Elaine Pritchard, you know you have left me virtually no choice” said the judge.

“A suspended sentence was a mercy given it was in respect of the dealing of class A drugs and your refusal to co-operate with Willowdene was almost immediately after the imposition of the sentence.”