Young mum Lisa Sharp jailed for smuggling drugs to prisoner boyfriend at HMP Rochester
Lisa Sharp, 23, smuggled
drugs into HMP Rochester
by Julia Roberts
A young mother recruited by her boyfriend to smuggle drugs
to him in prison has been jailed.
There were gasps from the public gallery as a judge at Maidstone
Crown Court told Lisa Sharp he had no option but to send her to
The 23-year-old, who has a daughter aged two, fought back tears
in the dock as Judge Philip Statman said having a young child could
not be viewed as a reason for being spared custody.
But he explained that as an "act of mercy" to her and out of
"anxiety" for the youngster, he would reduce her sentence from six
months to four months.
He had already given her a reduction of three months as credit
for her guilty plea.
"It is, I can assure you, a dreadful dilemma for any judge to send a mother with a small child to prison..." – Judge Philip Statman
Sharp had admitted two offences of conspiracy to supply cannabis
in December 2011. In the dock with her were boyfriend Danny Martin,
27, and his 20-year-old half-brother Adam Cullen.
They pleaded guilty to the same charges.
The court heard Martin was serving a five-year jail term
with an extended licence period of two years at HMP Rochester for
an offence of robbery when he enlisted the help of Sharp and Cullen
to bring skunk and herbal cannabis to the prison.
The former crack cocaine addict later claimed he had been
"pressured" into organising the operation by another prisoner to
whom he owed a previous drug debt of £400.
However, telephone calls between Martin and Sharp had been
monitored and the drugs were intercepted by police before they
reached the prison gates.
Martin, of Mercury Close, Rochester, was jailed for 16 months
and Cullen, of Mill Road, Gillingham, was sent to a young
offenders' institution for 10 months.
Maidstone Crown Court -
where Lisa Sharp was jailed
Passing sentence, Judge Statman told Sharp, also of Mercury
Close, he had no reason to doubt she was a loving and caring
But he added: "Yours is by far the most difficult sentence for
me to have to pass. It is, I can assure you, a dreadful dilemma for
any judge to send a mother with a small child to prison.
"But I have to perform that function. It is right and proper in
all the circumstances that those in a similar position to you who
are outside (of prison) with small children are not used in this
way, thinking they will get away with a non-custodial sentence
should they be caught."
The court heard the little girl will be cared for by
Sharp's parents while she is in custody.
Judge Statman said both she and Cullen had acted out of
misplaced loyalty to Martin, who placed them under "immense
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