A DRUG dealer who hid her stash in her underwear has been spared jail after being described as 'low-hanging fruit'.

Laura Tunnicliffe was found with the cocaine and heroin hidden in her clothing when police carried out a raid at her Hartlepool home last May.

Officers also caught the 40-year-old trying to flush some drugs down the toilet.

Teesside Crown Court heard how she also secreted some drugs on her body.

Tunnicliffe, of Mapleton Road, pleaded guilty to two charges of possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply and charges of possession of Class A, B and C drugs.

Paul Cleasby, in mitigation, urged the judge to pass a non-custodial sentence as his client was 'low-hanging fruit' in the drug supply network.

Judge Stephen Ashurst sentenced Tunnicliffe to two years in custody, suspended for two years. He said: "I very much hope I'm doing the right thing in your case."

She was also ordered to attend 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days and take part in a nine-month drug treatment programme.