Woman used her bra to smuggle suspected drugs package into HMP Wealstun

Stock picture of a police officer on the beat.
Stock picture of a police officer on the beat.
Share this article

PRISON officers detained a woman after she smuggled a suspected drugs package hidden in her bra into a West Yorkshire jail, a court heard.

Officers at HMP Wealstun stopped Victoria Helstrip after they became suspicious during her visit to see an inmate.

Leeds Crown Court heard the officers observed Helstrip hand over a package to the prisoner in March this year.

Helstrip, 42, immediately admitted that she had concealed the package inside her bra before handing it over to the inmate. The inmate was arrested and placed in isolation but he managed to flush the contents of the package down a toilet before it could be seized.

Helstrip was interviewed and told police she had agreed to deliver the package as she needed cash.

She said she had been given instructions to collect the package in Armley Park, in Leeds, where it had been hidden near a tree. Helstrip, of Mulberry House, Castleford, said she did not know what it contained but suspected it to be drugs.

She pleaded guilty to conveying a List A article into prison.

Kara Frith, mitigating, said Helstrip had pleaded guilty to the offence at an early stage and had no previous convictions.

Miss Frith said Helstrip was of previous good character but her life had “spiralled out of control” after she split up with her long-term partner and became depressed.

The lawyer added: “She was self-medicating with cannabis and fell in with the wrong crowd and was on self-destruct. When she committed this offence she realised that she had hit rock bottom.”

The court heard Helstrip had now moved away from the area where she had been living and had managed to turn her life around since the incident.

Helstrip was given an eight month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to take part in a ten-day rehabilitation programme.


Gallery: 19 pictures you’ll only understand if you’re from Leeds