Cannabis smuggling care worker avoids prison
A care worker who tried to smuggle cannabis in to a Staffordshire prison in her bra escaped going straight to custody herself.
Melissa Smythe was visiting her brother at Swinfen Hall near Lichfield when a trained sniffer dog picked her out for a search, Stafford Crown Court heard.
She was taken in to a secure area, but before the search took place she put her hand in to her bra and pulled out a bag.
Mr Philip Beardmore, prosecuting, said the bag contained 12.9 grams of cannabis with an outside street value of £45, but worth much more in a prison environment.
After being arrested she said she had no idea why she had taken the drug in to the prison.
Smythe, aged 20, of Blenheim Way, Castle Vale admitted conveying a prohibited article in to prison. She was given six months young offender custody suspended for a year, ordered to do 150 hours unpaid community work and to pay £80 surcharge.
Recorder Mr Andrew Baker QC told her: "you allowed yourself to say 'yes' to a request by your brother, who is serving a significant prison sentence, to bring a quantity of cannabis on a visit to him."
Mr Tim Pole, defending, said Smythe was a trained carer currently working in a care home. "She is a conscientious member of society. It is very surprising she finds herself in this situation; her brother has chosen a very different path."
Mr Pole added that the defendant was concerned about her brother being bullied in Swinfen Hall when she was asked to bring the cannabis to him.
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