Woman used balloons to smuggle drugs into prison for armed robber boyfriend

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A WOMAN who took drugs into prison for her armed robber boyfriend has been spared jail.

John Nesbitt feared he would be beaten up in Durham Prison unless Julie Morris brought him drugs, Durham Crown Court heard.

“During a visit a prisoner officer noticed something pass between the pair of them,” said Nigel Soppitt, prosecuting.

“When Nesbitt was searched he was found to have a balloon containing three Subutex tablets, and eight tablets which were found to be made of another opiate-based substance.”

He added: “A packet of balloons matching the one found on Nesbitt was found at the defendant’s house.”

Morris, 32, of Grasmere Avenue, Easington Lane, admitted possessing class C and class A drugs with intent to supply them on August 27, last year.

She has previous convictions for offences of dishonesty.

Vince Ward, defending, said in mitigation: “Ms Morris is described as a naive and vulnerable woman who at the time was involved with a man doing 12 years for armed robbery.

“She felt threatened, and feared for her safety and that of her two children if she did not do as she was asked.

“The relationship is now ended, and Ms Morris assures me she will not do anything like this again.

“I submit the court could have some confidence in that because there are no drugs offences on her record, and she is otherwise lightly convicted.”

The Recorder, Mr Ray Singh, jailed Morris for 12 months, suspended for two years, and ordered her to observe a night time curfew for four months.

The recorder told her: “This would have been 18 months after a trial, but your early guilty plea enables me to reduce the sentence to 12 months which I can just suspend.

“I am conscious you are single mother and prison would have a severe impact on you and your children, including the loss of their home.

“But you should realise this sentence is hanging over your head and you need to keep your nose absolutely clean.”