A WOMAN who attempted to smuggle drugs into a Dorset prison gave a false account of events leading up to the incident.

Donna Grange tried to convey cannabis into HMP Guys Marsh in Shaftesbury in September last year to a prisoner who she had been in a relationship with.

The 38-year-old was seen on CCTV taking a package from her chest area and placing it in a packet of sweets that were in front of her while she visiting an inmate.

Prison officers went to where she was sat and found the prisoner had not taken the package, which contained around 28g of tobacco and 1.45g of cannabis.

Bournemouth Crown Court heard this quantity of the drug had a prison value of between £100 and £145.

Prosecuting, Stuart Ellacott said when interviewed about the offence Grange said she had been approached by someone while in London who told her she could get paid to visit the prison and hand over a package.

However, when summing up the hearing on September 1, judge Jonathan Fuller QC said the defendant had given a “dishonest” and “false” account.

“You went to see a man with whom you have [or had] a relationship in Guys Marsh prison,” said the judge.

“You gave a false account to lessen culpability by saying you had been approached by a third party in London. This was a dishonest account.”

The judge said actions like those taken by Grange undermined the work of prisons that are attempting to prevent drugs and other contraband from getting to inmates.

He added that offences of this nature are not looked upon lightly by the courts although she avoided an immediate prison sentence.

Mitigating Steven Young said Grange, whose address was listed as Park Road, Gloucester, had cooperated with the probation service.

However, the court heard she suffered “significant health problems” and had no fixed address, meaning she would be unlikely to follow any court orders within her sentence.

Following a brief discussion with the probation officer present for the hearing, Mr Fuller handed Grange an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.