[Source: Northampton Chronicle & Echo Published: Thursday, 6 September, 1973]
The solicitor acting for an 18-year-old girl involved in a drugs case warned yesterday that unless she changed her ways she would be dead before she reached her 25th birthday.
And Northampton Borough magistrates also heard that "Christian spirit" had apparently succeeded in curing the girl's co-accused where "medical science" had failed.
Mr. Jerome Saint, representing Elaine Coleman, said: 'She is attractive, with above average intelligence, and a neat figure. This girl has everything she needs. But she knows that if she carries on the way she has been doing, by the time she is 25 she will be dead.'
"She is not in need of any form of punishment but help. She has got to have some help, and she has got to have it quickly."
The court was told by the Rev. Noel Stanton that the man, Michael Day (24), now lived in the care of the Bugbrooke Chapel Fellowship. "Michael has changed, he has come through a religious experience," he said.
"If he has a settled home, I see no reason why he should not do well. We are quite ready to look after him to the best of our ability."
Mr. Peter Bennett, Day's solicitor, said that until recently his client had been part of society's flotsam. "He has drifted around and eventually became dependent on drugs. It seems that the Christian spirit has succeeded where medical science has failed. He is now off drugs and has the glimmer of a hope."
Day, unemployed, formerly of 72 Perry Street, Northampton, was charged with two offences of possession of amphetamine, in June and July this year. He was also accused of stealing a shirt from the Circa Seven boutique, Northampton, worth £4 on July 19.
Coleman, also unemployed, of 63/65 Palmerston Road, Northampton, was charged with possessing amphetamine prior to 7.40 pm on June 23. Both defendants pleaded guilty.
Sentence on Day was deferred until November 28, and the case against Coleman was adjourned until September 24.
Mr. Paul Sefton, prosecuting, said that they were stopped and searched in Whitworth Road, Northampton. Syringes were found on them, and urine samples were taken at the police station. Both admitted using amphetamines.
Later, Day's room in Perry Street was searched and three milligramms of the drug were found in a matchbox.
The offence of theft was discovered when Day was seen coming out of the shop with the shirt stuffed under his sweater.
Mr. Bennett said that Day committed this offence with the intention of selling the shirt to obtain money for drugs.
Mr. K. G. Halland, chairman of the magistrates, told Day that sentence would be deferred on the condition that: "You keep out of trouble, show appreciation in all ways for what Mr. Stanton and other people are doing on your behalf. Show that you can keep out of trouble and get a fresh start entirely."
The case against Coleman was adjourned while arrangements were made for her to go to a drugs treatment centre.
Mr. Harland said: "Miss Coleman should face up to whether a relaxed atmosphere is the best thing for her. She should not be too easy on herself. Mr. Saint has not over-emphasised the dangers she faces."
He told her: "You must not look for the easy way out. There is a way out but not an easy one."