A woman who stashed drugs and tobacco under her skirt to give to herboyfriend in prison during a visit has walked free from court with asuspended jail sentence.

Clare Richards was spotted reaching under her skirt and removing apackage which she handed to her prisoner partner.

He hid it down his trousers, but a court heard the exchange wascaptured on CCTV.

Prison guards also witnessed the incident.

The court heard the prisoner, Richards' boyfriend, was searched and apackage containing tobacco and four types of steroid drugs, 200tablets in all with a value in prison of up to £1,470, was found.

Richards, 33, of Cambridge Grove in Whitefield, Bury, pleaded guiltyto a charge of carrying an article into a prison.

But she escaped an immediate custodial sentence.

At Mold Crown Court in Flintshire, Wales, a judge jailed her for sixmonths, but suspended the sentence for two years.She was said to have acted 'out of loyalty to her boyfriend', aserving prisoner.

The court heard Richards was arrested after prison guards at HMPBerwyn in Wrexham saw her hand over the package.

A judge heard she had been searched moments before entering theprison's visitors hall in July, 2018.

Credit: PA Images

David Mainstone, prosecuting, said Richards greeted her boyfriendbefore guards watching saw her reach under her skirt and remove apackage, which was then handed to the prisoner who hid it down histrousers.

The incident was captured on the prison's closed circuit television,the court heard.

"The prisoner, who has already been dealt with by the court, wassearched and a package containing tobacco and four types of steroiddrugs, 200 tablets in all with a value in prison of up to £1,470, wasfound," he said.

Richards, the court heard, was arrested but refused to answerquestions put to her by police.

She admitted the charge in court on Tuesday.

Her defence counsel, Estelle Parkinson, said she acted out of loyaltyto her boyfriend.

"She did something which was out of character and which jeopardisesher future," Ms Parkinson said.

Handing her a six-month prison term, suspended for two years, JudgeNiclas Parry said only a custodial sentence could be justified.

He said drugs cause problems for the prison authorities and prisoners alike.But he said there was significant mitigation which allowed him tosuspend the sentence.

Richards was also ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work andattend 10 days of rehabilitation requirement.The drugs seized at the prison will be destroyed.