A Welsh woman just stood trial for drugs and weapons possession after being caught by police riding a mobility scooter through the streets while stoned.
On March 15, 2018, Cardiff police spotted 47-year-old Yvonne Harvey riding a mobility scooter down a city street at 2:20am. Upon closer investigation, cops reported that she smelled strongly of weed and appeared to be intoxicated. Harvey claimed that she was not carrying anything illegal, but police chose to conduct a search anyway.
After searching the scooter, cops found a stun gun, two small bags of weed, and several bags of amphetamine. Officers also found two more bags of speed stuffed in the woman’s shorts. Harvey was taken into custody and brought to Cardiff Bay police station, where a more thorough search was conducted. Cops also found a lock knife, two mobile phones, and additional SIM cards for the phones.
Harvey told police she was carrying a stun gun for protection because her home — which she shares with her partner, Ellis Sherwood — was recently broken into. Sherwood was jailed at age 19 for murdering a newsagent, but was released after 11 years when a court found that he was wrongfully convicted. But two years after being released, Sherwood suffered a stroke due to complications of a drug habit he picked up behind bars.
Sherwood was given over $200,000 in compensation for his wrongful conviction, but the defense claimed that the money attracted burglars. “Mr. Sherwood did receive substantial compensation for a false conviction many years ago,” said Marian Lewis, Harvey’s defense attorney, according to WalesOnline. “He does have significant means. There was an attack on her home by others and, rightly or wrongly, [Harvey] had [the stun gun] in her possession. It was never used.”
Police searched Harvey’s home, where they found several small bags of weed and scales commonly used for measuring out drugs. On the woman’s phones, cops found several messages relating to buying or selling weed. Cops also found Sherwood at the home and arrested him.
Lewis told the court that Harvey was solely responsible for all of the drugs found at the house, and that Sherwood was not likely to be involved due to health complications brought on by the stroke. Police conducted an assessment on Sherwood to determine whether he should be convicted, and eventually decided not to press charges. The assessment delayed the case, though, which did not come to trial until this month.
Harvey admitted to possession of cannabis, amphetamine, and a weapon, as well as dealing drugs. The defendant told the court that she only sold to a limited number of friends and family, however. Lewis asked the court for a community sentence rather than jail time, as the offenses in question were minor and over two years old.
Recorder Timothy Brennan QC decided to impose a six-month prison sentence, suspended for 15 months, and ordered Harvey to enter a 15-day rehab program.