DJ’s community service order

Scales of justice
Scales of justice

A Coleraine woman turned to drug dealing and DJing house music after a bitter marriage break up, a judge heard this week.

However, while 38-year-old Janice Evangelista admitted dealing in cocaine, ecstasy, each class A drugs, as well as horse tranquilliser Ketamine, she walked free from Antrim Crown Court with an order to complete 80 hours of community service.

Judge Des Marrinan told Evangelista, who performs under the pseudonym of DJ Jan Summers, he was taking the unusual step of not sending her to jail for drug dealing because she’d had to wait for more than five years for her case to get to court, her clear record, her genuine remorse and that having fallen in with new friends following her marriage break up when she started taking drugs herself, “that’s how your judgement became impaired”.

“This isn’t to be taken as some sort of bench mark for other cases, this is an extremely unusual case,” said the judge who, after the 20 minute sentencing hearing, told Evangelista that despite the “unconscionable delay....the matter is now over and I wish you well in the future”.

At an earlier hearing Evangelista, from Broadlands Gardens in Carrick, but originally from Coleraine, pleaded guilty to two counts of supplying class A drugs, four counts of offering to supply class A drugs ecstasy and cocaine, offering to supply class K ketamine and single counts of possessing small amounts of cocaine and ketamine on dates between 9 October 2010 and 14 April 2011.

Prosecuting lawyer Michael Chambers disclosed how the actual possession charges related to very small amounts of ecstasy and ketamine when police raided Evangelista’s home in April, uncovering three ecstasy tablets and 0.69 grammes of ketamine. Officers also seized her mobile phone however and it was when that device was forensically examined that police uncovered how Evangelists had been selling drugs to her friends for months.

Mr Chambers revealed the majority of the Crown case had been founded upon dozens of text messages sent and received to Evangelista’s mobile phone, with many of them describing amounts of drugs, the price and making arrangements for the meet and exchange of her illicit wares.

Evangelista’s defence solicitor advocate Ciaran Steele said it was accepted that she had been selling to a small circle of friends, people she only began socialising with when she was dealing with an acrimonious marriage break up in October 2010.

The court heard it was also at that stage that Evangelista turned to DJing and that since then, she has enjoyed success having established herself as a club DJ and according to her Twitter account, Evangelista regularly goes to the clubbing Mecca of ibiza to work.

Imposing 80 hours of community service and a destruction order for the drugs which were seized, Judge Marrinan told Evangelista he believed the CSO “is the best way for you to repay your debt to society, morally and legally”.