Mum caught trying to smuggle cannabis worth up to £1,600 to friend in prison
Emma Curnow, 38, was caught with a stash of drugs down the front of her jeans as she visited HMP Parc in Bridgend
A mother was caught by a sniffer dog attempting to smuggle cannabis into prison for a friend.
Emma Curnow, 38, was stopped as she tried to enter HMP Parc in Bridgend on January 9 after staff gained intelligence that she would be carrying drugs on her person.
She was searched and a sniffer dog recognised the smell of drugs on her so she was taken to a side room.
When asked if she was concealing anything Curnow reached down to the front of her jeans and pulled out a small package wrapped in cling film, which was later found to contain 22g of cannabis with a prison value between £440 and £1,600.
Officers searched her home in St David’s Avenue, Llantwit Major, and found a black bag which also contained cannabis.
A sentencing hearing at Cardiff Crown Court on Friday heard Curnow was approached by an unknown man in Barry who gave her the package and told her to give it to her friend Melvyn Chesaites on her next prison visit.
She said she felt intimidated by the man and was “frightened” and “scared”. She decided to take a look inside the package and saw what she believed to be cannabis.
When she spoke to Mr Chesaites by phone he asked her to bring the package as he needed to pay off a debt.
Despite having misgivings the court heard Curnow decided to go ahead with the plan due to fears for herself and her eight-year-old son. She later pleaded guilty to conveying a prohibited item into prison.
Sentencing, Judge Michael Fitton QC told the defendant he would not be sending her to prison as her son “did not deserve to be deprived of her”.
He added: “You were foolish enough to do this for someone else while under pressure but the risk you are exposing your son to is disproportionate to the gain of anybody else.”
Curnow was sentenced to four months imprisonment suspended for 12 months.
She was also ordered to carry out a 12-day rehabilitation activity requirement, complete 120 hours unpaid work, and pay £200 court costs.