Rotherham drug smuggler to remain behind bars

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A Rotherham woman who tried to smuggle drugs into prison has been told by top judges she cannot complain about her jail term.

Nicola Shirley Pearce tried to pass six tablets of subutex – a Class C drug – to an inmate at HMP Doncaster while she was visiting in May last year, but was spotted by a guard.

The 33-year-old, of Jewitt Road, Kimberworth Park, was jailed for nine months at Sheffield Crown Court in January after she admitted taking a banned article into prison.

She challenged the length of her sentence at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, with her lawyers arguing it was ‘too long’ for her crime.

But her appeal was rejected by three of the country’s most senior judges, who said the term was ‘not excessive’ – especially given this was the third time she had tried to smuggle a banned item into prison.

The court heard Pearce had previously tried to take a mobile phone into a jail in December 2008 and a phone card in May 2009.

Dismissing her appeal, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC said Pearce’s jail term was justified in light of her persistent offending.

“Drugs such as this are a valuable commodity within the prison system,” he added.