A WOMAN has been jailed after she was caught hiding Diazepam tablets in her underwear after receiving a suspended prison sentence for a similar offence.

Katherine O’Neal appeared at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court to face one charge of possessing a Class C drug in December.

The 40-year-old, of Heather Grove, Spennymoor, pleaded guilty and accepted that the offence placed her in breach of a suspended sentence.

Paul Doney, prosecuting, said: “At approximately 9.45pm on December 26 the defendant was searched at Durham Police Station after being arrested.

“She was found in possession of six white tablets which were concealed within her bra. They were later confirmed to be Diazepam.

“The defendant does have a record of previous convictions, the latest conviction shows that she is subject to a suspended prison sentence for a similar offence.”

Dave Dedman, mitigating, said O’Neal had the drugs for her own personal use to help with mental health issues.

He told magistrates: “It’s a straight forward case - she had them and police found them.

“She has pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

“And she has made a statement where she states that she was, at that time, feeling particularly low which aggravated her anxiety and depression.

“She found that the tablets helped her, which is what those tablets are prescribed for. Although she accepts they weren’t prescribed and she bought them. There is absolutely no suggestion that she is involved in dealing drugs.”

Mr Dedman said his client lived alone with her daughter who she was solely responsible for.

He added: “She has been subject to a suspended sentence for around a year and there have been no other convictions.

"She successfully completed her curfew and has been working well with probation, attending her appointments and generally complying with the order.

“It is just a question of whether you will activate the suspended prison sentence or if this matter could be dealt with with another curfew.”

Sending O'Neal to prison, William Unsworth, chair of the bench, said: “We have decided to activate the suspended sentence and you will serve 13 weeks.”

The court ordered no costs or victim surcharge.