Woman tried to smuggle ‘spice’

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A woman was arrested trying to smuggle a legal high into a prison where her boyfriend was serving a sentence.

Kelly Patterson, 22, was arrested after officers at Armley jail became suspicious and followed her into a toilet.

A cubicle was searched and officers found a legal high known as ‘spice’ along with a mobile phone hidden inside a latex glove inside a bin.

Patterson was detained by officers on December 17 last year and admitted bringing the items in to the prison but claimed she did not know it was illegal. She later told police that someone had brought the items to her home and ordered her to smuggle them in to her partner.

The court heard that spice, a synthetic form of cannabis, is not illegal to possess and is relatively cheap to buy but is valuable currency within the prison system.

Patterson, of Broadlea Terrace, Bramley, pleaded guilty to taking prohibited articles into prison.

Stuart Field, mitigating, said Patterson had been pressured into taking them into the jail as her partner would be in danger if she refused.

Recorder Gregory Perrins told Patterson that she must have realised she was committing an offence as there are warning notices on display at prisons. He said: “You could not have failed to notice those and appreciated that what you were doing was wrong. The only person to blame for taking those items into prison is you.”

Patterson was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for 24 months, and ordered to take part in a 15-day activity requirement.