A FORMER heroin addict and dealer on the brink of death has ‘doubled’ in weight since coming off the drug in what a judge described as an ‘amazing’ turnaround.

Natalie Wood admitted possession of heroin and cocaine with intent after her Stourport home was raided by police.

However, she was spared jail at Worcester Crown Court on Friday because of the progress she had made, the judge arguing it would be ‘catastrophic’ to send her to prison.

Police raided the 39-year-old former addict’s home at around 6.30am on February 1, 2018, where they found wraps of cocaine and heroin and around £500 in cash.

The court heard how Wood continues to provide negative samples after beating a 20-year addiction to heroin as a judge raised questions about a jury’s decision to clear her co-defendant who denied he was involved.

Matthew Barnes, prosecuting, said Wood had two telephones which contained evidence of drugs being offered to her but ‘also some messages suggesting she herself had supplied drugs’.

Wood pleaded guilty on February 5 this year, after telling police she was a drug addict.

Her co-defendant, Santay Clark, aged 30, of Shore Road, London, was cleared by a jury of possession of crack cocaine and heroin with intent to supply.

Both Wood and Mr Clark were in the house when police executed the warrant.

“She gave a a bizarre account of how Mr Clark came to be in her bedroom. She said she had met him by chance in town about three weeks ago. He was homeless.

"She decided to ask him if he wanted to stay at her flat and let him sleep in the bed for about two weeks” said Mr Barnes.

Although he did not pay rent, she told officers he bought food for the household.

Initially she said she had no knowledge of the drugs found in a green container. “She challenged the police officers to test it for fingerprints.”

Amanda O’Mara, defending, said: “She was about five stone and told she was going to die soon.”

However, her client self-referred to Swanswell and had not used drugs since February 2018 when the raid took place.

The mother-of-three had been misusing drugs since she was 19 years old said Miss O’Mara.

“It’s a massive turnaround. She has put weight on. She has moved out of the estate.”

Recorder David Mason QC said: “I think this is a case which deserves a prison sentence but a suspended sentence.”

Recorder Mason told Wood, of Erneley Close, Stourport: “Most people who deal in class A drugs go to prison and you know that.

“Amazingly, and I give you full credit for this, since your arrest in February last year you have clearly got yourself back on the right track with the help of your mother and your children.

“You are now heroin-free which is the first time in nearly 20 years. I accept entirely your property was being used by others at the time of these offences despite what the jury’s verdict is. I’m quite satisfied you were not the dominant part in this enterprise and were being clearly used and coerced by others.”

He described how her mother had thought Wood was ‘going to die’.

“You have probably almost doubled in weight since that time - I don’t mean to be rude,” said Recorder Mason.

He sentenced her to two years in prison suspended for two years and ordered her to complete 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days.