Worthing mum sentenced for drug offence

Giovanna Chirico arrives for sentencing at Brighton Crown Court, sitting at Brighton Magistrates' Court
Giovanna Chirico arrives for sentencing at Brighton Crown Court, sitting at Brighton Magistrates' Court

A mother of four has been given a suspended prison sentence after police found amphetamines worth £3,165 at her home.

Giovanna Chirico, 34, of Barton Close, Worthing, appeared at Brighton Crown Court today. She had pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of a class B drug with intent to supply on Tuesday, March 7, at Lewes Crown Court.

The court heard that when police officers attended her home address and explained why they were there, Chirico told them there were drugs in an orange bag on top of a silver freezer.

Jeffrey Lamb, prosecuting, told the court officers conducted a search of the home and also found amphetamines in a white freezer before arresting her.

In a police interview, Chirico said a neighbour had asked to store some belongings, including a motorbike, in her garage, Mr Lamb said.

When Chirico went into the garage ‘to see what state it was in’ prior to allowing the neighbour to use it, Mr Lamb said: “She experienced a smell that made her feel sick.”

She then came across an orange bag which contained the drugs, the court heard.

“She said the drugs did not belong to her, she was not dealing drugs and had no idea where the drugs had come from,” Mr Lamb said.

In the interview, Chirico said she had not lied to police and had instantly told them where the drugs were, he said.

Sophie Evans, defending, said Chirico – whose fiancé was killed in the Shoreham Airshow disaster – was ‘of good character’ and ‘had shown remorse’.

“Due to the difficult circumstances, she is trying so hard to look after her children,” she said.

Judge Paul Tain said Chirico had been ‘minding’ the class B drugs on someone else’s behalf but had received ‘no profit’. But the fact she was aware of them and did not hand them into police was ‘relatively serious’, he added.

He handed Chirico a 26-week sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered her to complete 100 hours’ unpaid community work and pay costs of £240.

He said: “The prosecution fully understands your personal issues. The majority of people will be sympathetic to your difficulties. But it is still a criminal offence.”.

Chirico was engaged to Mark Trussler, 54, who was killed along with ten others when a vintage Hawker Hunter jet crashed on the A27 during the airshow in August, 2015.

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