A DESPERATE young woman was imprisoned in a Bradford crack house and forced to deal drugs through a metal hatch, a court heard.

Heroin addict, Krysia Truskawecka, was freed by police when they busted the drug den in Canterbury Street, Canterbury, and found her behind a locked gate.

She was selling heroin and crack cocaine from the house to pay off a drug debt and feed her own habit, her solicitor advocate, Simon Hustler, said.

He told Bradford Crown Court yesterday: "It is remarkable that such a situation can exist in modern life. It is almost Dickensian."

Truskawecka, 31, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to possession of heroin and crack cocaine with intent to supply it, on July 2, and possession of cannabis.

Mr Hustler said it was "a truly tragic case".

She had been a heroin addict for 16 years and was exploited and pressured into dealing. She was playing a lesser role in the drug dealing operation.

She had no previous convictions and was sole carer for her father, who had to be placed in a nursing home pending the outcome of the case.

Mr Hustler said Truskawecka had held down a series of responsible jobs but when her relationship with her partner broke down, she hit rock bottom.

She was vulnerable and open to exploitation.

"She is as much a victim of these circumstances as those who were served by this particular house," Mr Hustler said.

"She was eking out a living behind a metal door, with money passed through the letter box."

Truskawecka was highly motivated to wean herself off drugs and had an appointment with the Arch project in Bradford.

She wept in the dock as Judge Mark Savill said it was "a troubling and disturbing case".

He decided to adjourn sentence, warning Truskawecka that she could still go immediately to prison.

Judge Savill made it a condition of her bail that she attend the appointment.

He said he will then decide whether to imprison her or to pass a suspended jail sentence with a Drug Rehabilitation Requirement.