A DRUG dealer stopped by police 'breaking into her own home' was instead caught with a stash of drugs as well as a small armoury of weapons in her handbag.

Cheryl James, of Lord Fielding Close, Banbury, had already admitted two counts of possession with intent to supply class A drugs - cocaine and heroin.

Before her sentencing at Oxford Crown Court yesterday the 49-year old also admitted two counts of possession of knives and one of having an offensive weapon.

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James was caught with a knife, a Stanley knife, and a knuckle duster, together with the wraps of class A drugs.

Outlining the case at the court yesterday prosecutor William Eaglestone said that James was first spotted outside her Banbury home by officers on November 13 2017.

He said: "Police were called to what they believed was a burglary in progress.

"James was breaking into what was her own home. She had smashed the glass door and she was searched."

Officers initially found in her handbag a large kitchen knife and she was arrested as a result.

Further searches of her uncovered a Stanley knife as well as a knuckle duster.

Police also seized a quantity of drugs made up of 1.67g of cocaine and 0.352g of heroin.

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It was also revealed that James is already in jail for drug dealing offences after she was handed a two-year term on August 16 last year.

That sentence came after a Thames Valley Police crackdown on drug dealing across Banbury called operation Roebuck.

James also has a number of previous convictions dating back to 1990, including for shoplifting and drug dealing.

In mitigation yesterday her defence barrister Peter Du Feu praised her 'transition' since being in jail after having stopped taking class A drugs.

Explaining her actions on the night she was arrested he said that the man inside her home would not let her in and said there were 'undoubtedly difficulties between him and her and class A drugs'.

He added that James was now 'incredibly committed' to coming off class A drugs for good.

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Sentencing, Judge Peter Ross said that the total sentence he could impose for the offences was three and a half years in prison.

However, he said as a direct alternative he would give her a chance to rehabilitate herself and made her subject to a community order for 24 months instead.

As part of the order she must complete a 12-month drug rehabilitation requirement and 30 days rehabilitation activity requirement.

She was also made subject to an order to reside as directed by the National Probation Service and a prohibited activity requirement banning the possession or consumption of any unlawful drug.

She will also pay a victim surcharge.