Sniffer dog ends jail drug exchange

Preston Crown Court

Preston Crown Court

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A BROTHER and sister who arranged for drugs to be taken to a prison were thwarted by a sniffer dog.

The woman was supposed to have met up with someone outside Haverigg jail in Cumbria and hand over a bag containing Subutex tablets – a Class C drug.

When that failed to happen, she tried to smuggle the drug to her brother Ian Hartley during a visit.

But a dog assisting members of staff showed an interest in her – and she went on to pull the drug package from her underwear.

Hartley, 37, of Larbreck Gardens, Great Eccleston, near Blackpool, had admitted an offence of conveying a banned article into a prison.

At the time he was serving a prison term for robbery and has now been given a 12-month sentence for his latest offence.

Pauline Lupton, 42, of Preston Street, Darwen, pleaded guilty to the same offence, plus one of possessing drugs with intent to supply and four others of simple drug possession. She was given 12 weeks’ prison, suspended for two years, with 12 months’ supervision.

Concerned

Roger Baldwin, prosecuting at Preston Crown Court, said that Lupton was visiting her brother in April last year when a drugs dog made a “positive indication” against her.

“Prison officers were very concerned as the dog was usually right, so they allowed her to have a visit in closed conditions”, said Mr Baldwin.

Ten minutes into the visit she was asked to submit to a strip search. She refused and started “carrying on”.

The ball of drugs was found to contain 8.65 grammes of heroin substitute subutex.

Mr Baldwin added “Her handbag was a bit like a chemist’s shop. It had all sorts of traces and pieces of various drugs, which the prosecution accept were for her own use.

“There was amphetamine, cannabis resin and diazepam.”

When her home at Darwen was searched, small quantities of cannabis bush and resin were found.

Mr Adrian Williams, for Lupton, said she had been placed under “significant emotional pressure” at the time.

Daniel Prowse, defending Hartley, said: “HMP Haverigg has been described as a gang culture prison.

“Under significant threat, he was given the offer of trying to remove the £700 debt. He was so fearful that he took the risk.

“It is a matter of deep regret that his sister became involved. He himself has been subjected to violence after the drugs were seized”.