A HOMELESS woman has been spared jail after being found with 31 wraps of heroin.

Alice Ashcroft was charged with possession of class A drugs when police searched her room at homeless shelter O’Hanlon House in Luther Street on January 4.

Oxford Crown Court heard yesterday how the 25-year-old was found with 25 wraps of heroin stashed in a black bag inside her radiator at O’Hanlon house - plus six further wraps - totalling 2.86grams of the class A drug.

She was taken into custody until yesterday’s sentencing at Oxford Crown Court appearing before Judge Peter Ross.

He said: “For those who are homeless getting off drugs is very very difficult.

“I don’t in anyway minimise the challenge you are facing. You have had a lengthy spell in custody... and to this offence you pleaded guilty.

“The crown accepts the drugs which were found, you had for your own consumption.

“You have a clear record of a drug user and one of the consequences of that has been in affect the loss of your young child.”

The court heard how Ashcroft has a young son which she is in regular contact with while he lives with his grandparents.

Judge Ross sentenced Ashcroft to a three year community sentence and supervision order for the charge of possession.

He added that this included a 12 month Drug Rehabilitation Requirement (DRR) during which Ashcroft will be regularly monitored and supported to stay off the drugs.

Judge Ross said: “My experience is that without somewhere to live a DRR is a tall order, but on the other hand if she has the desire to rid herself of this wretched addiction.”

He added: “I don’t say this with any great sense of confidence but I am prepared to make a DRR because she so desperately needs it.”

As the court was unable to fing Ashcroft anywhere to stay, either with family members or in a shelters, she is homeless having lost her room at O’Hallaran House.