CONVICTED drug dealer Sharon Strudwick has walked free after almost eight months in prison on remand.
Caught up in the prolific Tamworth 'ice castle' case, street-level dealer Strudwick was released on parole in Tamworth Local Court on Wednesday.
The court was told the 55-year-old was in a relationship with alleged ringleader Stephen Ross Hanshaw and supplied fentanyl, heroin and methylamphetamine to help feed her drug habit.
Addiction has been a problem for Strudwick, hooked on drugs since her 20's.
When she was arrested she would tear through a gram of ice weekly, defence solicitor Frank Falcomata said.
"Some six months ago you could readily tell the ravages the drugs have had," he said.
"Now she's put on significant weight, she's coherent, quite logical, she's taken great strides and has a healthy complexion.
"Ms Strudwick has endeavoured to remain abstinent in custody ... she also works seven days-a-week in the kitchen."
There were some concerns from the prosecution about Strudwick's ability to stay off drugs while in a relationship with Hanshaw. The two are legally not allowed to have contact, and Strudwick was ordered into custody last year after breaching that particular bail condition by speaking with him while he was in prison.
Magistrate Julie Soars gave Strudwick a 25 per cent discount for her early guilty plea and encouraged her to go home and care for her elderly mother.
"It's really a turning point at this point m'am to get away from the drugs and get on with your life, or be sucked back into custody," she said.
Strudwick was handed an aggregate sentence of 16 months, backdated to June 2019 with a non-parole period of seven months and 26 days.
Strike Force Radius detectives first arrested her in May last year as part of a major operation targeting the supply of illicit drugs and firearms in Tamworth.
Almost 30 people have been charged in connection in Sydney, the Central Coast, Dubbo, the Hunter, Tamworth and Uralla.