A WOMAN who tried to sneak in more than £1,000 worth of drugs into prison was forced to hide several tablets in her "groin area", a court heard.

Lisa Fagan was left injured and the windows of her home smashed when someone intimidated her into smuggling buprenorphine into Holme House Prison in Stockton last November.

Teesside Crown Court heard the 29-year-old visited a prisoner but attracted the attention of staff when she attempted to remove £1,200 worth of buprenorphine from her “groin area”.

Rachel Masters, prosecuting, said: “During the course of the visit she was seen looking around and attempted to remove an item from her groin area but she was unable to do so."

She added that Fagan was approached and searched and a concealed package containing 12 tablets of buprenorphine was removed.

The prosecutor said Fagan gave no comment during police interview but said earlier someone approached her and threatened to smash her windows if she didn’t do what was being asked of her.

At inflated prices inside prison, each tablet was worth up to £100 each and she confirmed reports were made of the incident at Fagan's home prior to her visit to Holme House.

After seeing pictures of Fagan's injuries sustained in the attack, Judge Deborah Sherwin said she agreed Fagan “felt she had no choice in the matter".

She said: “Anyone taking drugs into prison is a serious matter because there is a real black market of drugs in prison. Drugs are linked to addiction, violence and causing a huge amount of problems.

“Having said that, something led you to taking drugs in. I have seen pictures and you have given an explanation to what led you to this. I am sure you knew you shouldn’t but you felt you had no choice in the matter.”

Fagan, formerly of Saltersgill, Middlesbrough, was given a three month sentence suspended for 12 months, ordered to carry out 40 hours of unpaid work and complete 20 days of rehabilitation classes. She pleaded guilty to one count of transferring a prohibited article into prison.