South Shields mum caught smuggling drugs into prison in her bra

A mother who was caught smuggling drugs into a prison during a visit has kept her freedom.

Emma Brown was seeing an inmate at HMP Northumberland when she was spotted handing over a mystery package. However, Newcastle Crown Court heard that when the prisoner was searched soon after, it was found to contain cocaine and the painkiller subutex.

Prosecutor Neil Pallister told the court that it was on May 26 last year when Brown handed over 0.75g of the class A drug. She also delivered 80 subutex tablets wrapped in cling film and placed the package from her bra onto a table in the visiting area. However, she was spotted by CCTV operators and apprehended.

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Brown, 36, of Girtin Road, South Shields, was arrested and later admitted taking the banned items into prison. Mr Recorder Guiliani sentenced her to 18 months behind bars, suspended for 18 months with a rehabilitation requirement.

Emma Brown.

Vic Laffey, defending, said: "She said it was a blessed relief she was caught. The man for whom she took the drugs in was a close friend of a partner and took advantage of her vulnerability and his ability to lean on her.

"Obviously she knew what she was doing to a certain extent but she didn't know what the drugs were. Under a significant amount of pressure and because she was struggling to cope, she didn't do the most obvious thing which was to go to the authorities.

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"She was using drugs and drink at the time and succumbed to the pressure. She's had a pretty tragic few years but she has made some good progress."