Prison for woman who hid a stash of heroin in her bra
A woman caught trying to hide £10,000 worth of heroin in her bra and inside her body has been jailed for 15 months.
Belfast Crown Court Judge Gemma Loughran told weeping Sinead Hawkins (30) that the use of heroin was a growing evil and those involved in its trade allowed that evil to prevail.
Hawkins, from Windemere Gardens, Lisburn, admitted possessing the class A drugs with intent to supply on March 21 last year.
She will serve a further 21 months on supervised parole following her release.
The court had heard that following the police sting operation Hawkins was searched and from the cups of her bra officers removed 28 grams of heroin.
However, later in a more intimate search, a doctor recovered a further 78 grams secreted in her body.
Judge Loughran said that despite the forceful defence plea of solicitor advocate Paul Farrell, which was deserving of the highest commendation, Hawkins' offending had passed the threshold of an immediate custodial sentence.
Hawkins, whose descent into the drug culture came from an earlier hedonistic lifestyle, had made positive and valiant efforts to turn her life around and was genuinely remorseful, the court heard.
Judge Loughran said she also accepted Hawkins had been a mere custodian of the drugs and not a courier, and had hoped to make enough money by keeping the drugs to support her own habit.
However, Judge Loughran said while Hawkins was considered to be of a medium risk of reoffending and was taking positive steps to tackle her addiction, it was necessary for the courts to pass sentences to deter others in the future.