A PREGNANT mother-of-two has been jailed for six months after she tried to smuggle up to £2,500 worth of drugs into prison.

Helen McCartney, 29, who is expecting her third child, raised suspicions while visiting her boyfriend in HMP Wealstun near Wetherby last October.

Richard Walters, prosecuting, said the 29-year-old from Chester-le-Street, County Durham, appeared nervous and made two trips to the toilet during the visit to Kevin Robson.

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When prison officers called time the couple hugged and something was passed between them.

Robson was searched and produced a package of drugs - which he had hidden up his bum.

- saying he or his family had been threatened unless he smuggled drugs into the prison.

The drugs proved to be 20 tablets of Buprenorphine and synthetic cannabis known as Spice.

Robson told prison officers he had been threatened unless he managed to smuggle in the drugs but McCartney said she was offered £500 to smuggle the items in.

She also took off a sock and shoe and produced another package containing 30 more Buprenorphine tablets.

Mr Walters said the drugs were worth between £1050 and £2,500 inside prison.

Andrew Petterson, mitigating, said there was an element of emotional pressure placed on her by Robson but her main motive was financial as she was in debt.

He told the court the case had been hanging over her for 10 months which had been a strain. She was of previous good character and had a good job.

Urgin the court not to jail her, he said she had two children and was expecting a third.

McCartney, of Portobello Way, Chester-le-Street , admitted possessing drugs with intent to supply and supplying drugs.

Jailing her Recorder Gurdial Singh said there had to be deterrent sentences in such cases because of the impact of drugs in prison - which can lead to bullying, fights, self-harm and suicides.

“The evil they do there is greater than in general society," he added.

He said he appreciated her circumstances as a mother and considered a letter from her grandparents saying they were unable to look after her children - but he said the court would not be held to ransom.

“That is exactly why people like you are asked to take drugs into prison, not withstanding your substantial mitigation an immediate jail sentence is called for.”