A pregnant Leeds woman serving a sentence after she was caught dealing hard drugs could be free to have her baby outside of jail after winning an appeal.
Mea Armitage, 20, of Wolseley Road, Burley, Leeds, was caught out by an undercover police operation using plain clothes policemen who targeted dealers on the city’s streets in 2012.
She pleaded guilty to supplying heroin and cocaine and possessing cannabis.
Armitage was then sentenced to 20 months when she appeared at Leeds Crown Court back in January of this year.
The sentence meant there was a good chance the then pregnant Armitage would give birth to her first child in prison.
But yesterday top judges sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice in London stepped in and reduced the term.
The decision, which resulted in cutting Armitage’s sentence to 15 months, means Armitage will be eligible for release on a tag before her baby is due to be born sometime in June.
Appeal judge, Mr Justice Mackay, sitting yesterday with Judge James Moss QC, said Armitage was under the influence of those who were more heavily involved in the drugs world.
On five occasions between September and November last year she acted as a runner delivering drugs to undercover officers who had posed as drug addicts and ordered the narcotics by telephone.
The sentencing judge said only an immediate sentence of custody was appropriate in order to deter others from getting involved in such crime.
However, her barrister, Georgina Coade, yesterday argued at the Court of Appeal that the sentence was “manifestly excessive” and should be cut.
Mr Justice Mackay told the court: “It must be of real concern to her that there is a real risk that she will deliver her first child as a prisoner in circumstances where the facilities are limited, notoriously, and cannot be guaranteed.
“We must, of course, guard against giving undue weight to that fact, but it is a very important part of the case.
“In our judgment, this sentence was excessive, given her condition, her age and her lack of involvement in crime before.”
Armitage will serve no more than half of her 15-month term in custody.
But she will be eligible for release on temporary licence or on a tag before the end of that term.