A WOMAN who drove under the influence of drugs less than five weeks after receiving a suspended prison sentence still has the potential jail term hanging over her, for the next nine months.

Police pulled up a Renault Clio driven by Kathryn Jennings on the A167 in Crossgate Moor, Durham, due to the smell of cannabis from the car, on May 1, last year.

Jennings gave a positive roadside drug test and a further sample, provided later at a police station, gave a reading three-and-a-half times over the legal limit for cannabis.

The now 35-year-old defendant, of Willowtree Avenue, Durham, admitted driving with excess drugs in her system, at Durham Crown Court, last October.

It put her in breach of a 12-month prison sentence, which was suspended for two years, on March 28 last year, after she admitted theft of between £14,000 and £19,900, while managing the Chester Moor pub, near Chester-le-Street, between 2016 and 2017.

Judge Jonathan Carroll told Jennings she was, “skating on thin ice”, but deferred sentence for six months, warning her to avoid drug use and engage with mental health services.

On her return to court she was given a 12-month conditional discharge and was banned from the roads for a year for the drug driving offence.

Judge Ray Singh ordered that the suspended sentence should continue, leaving the 12-month prison sentence hanging over Jennings until it expires on March 28 next year.

She was also ordered to pay a £20 statutory court surcharge.