A MOTHER who tried to smuggle cocaine and a designer drug which triggers hyperstimulation, paranoia, and hallucinations into a prison for offenders whose escape would pose a large risk to members of the community has been jailed.

Melanie Kemp had claimed she had been under orders to hand packages to her jailed son, David, but Judge Sean Morris refused to believe any of her excuses.

The 51-year-old wailed as her six-month jail sentence was announced, and her husband and other relatives in Teesside Crown Court's public gallery sobbed.

Judge Morris told Kemp: "You have never been in trouble before, but you are in trouble now. You're going to have to find out what it's like in prison."

Initially, she claimed she was threatened that her car would be burnt out and her Stockton home would be targeted if she did not carry out orders to take drugs into Holme House Prison in the town.

She said an unnamed man had put her under pressure to take the cocaine and pentanone - also known as alpha pvp or gravel - into the category B jail.

Prosecutor Paul Newcombe told the court that messages found on Kemp's mobile phone showed she was being paid for it, and it had been well-planned.

However, staff at the prison stopped the handover in December 2015 while she visited her son - serving five-and-a-half years for drugs offences.

Cocaine worth more than £500 on the black market behind bars, and £56-worth of the synthetic substance were found in two small packages, said Mr Newcombe.

Judge Morris told Kemp, of Pipeknowle Road: "The prison officers have a tough job, and it is tough enough without you adding to the crime going on in our prisons. The public are rightly aghast and amazed that drugs get into prison, and when drugs get into the prison system, they are used as currency by inmates.

Kemp admitted two charges of conveying into a prison a prohibited article - class A drug cocaine and class B drug pentanone - at an earlier hearing.

Joanne Kidd, mitigating, said Kemp had never before been tempted to smuggle anything illegal into the jail while visiting her son over the years.

Miss Kidd said he had collapsed a few months earlier and spent time in the University a Hospital of North Tees, and his mother was worried about his welfare.

"The circumstances are that she was not aware what the contents actually were," the barrister added. "She ran the risk of them being the highest category. She is more than aware of the prison sentences that are almost always inevitable in cases of this sort, and that has been with her since the day of her arrest. She has spent 15 months dreading today."

The court heard how Kemp, who walks with two crutches, has had five operations on a back problem, and prison would be difficult to cope with.

Judge Morris said: "I'm sceptical you didn't know what they were. You didn't tell the truth, you were not coerced. This was emotional nagging for you to do what your son wanted."