A STUDENT who smuggled cannabis and ecstasy into prison for her boyfriend has been spared jail after a court heard she was scared of him.

Jordan Alder, of The Chignalls, Basildon, hid 16 grams of cannabis and 51 ecstasy pills in her underwear when she went to visit Ryan Layzell at HMP Hewell in Worcestershire in November 2015.

Basildon Crown Court heard the 26-year-old had been in a relationship with Layzell but he was sent to prison.

Philip Allman, prosecuting, said: “She went through the building and the search area. She would have been aware of the signs relating to the illegal items.

“The defendant was subject to a search, she was asked if she was carrying anything she shouldn’t be carrying. She said: ‘No.’”

A drugs dog then indicated she was carrying cannabis and two bags of the drug and two bags of pills were found.

Mr Allman said recent problems at the prison had brought it into the public eye.

These incidents include an escape attempt that was foiled when a drone carrying hacksaw blades and screwdrivers was spotted by prison officers.

Earlier this month, two inmates were taken to hospital following an assault.

Chris Whitcombe, mitigating, said: “It was more by luck than judgement that the substances were not actually provided to Mr Layzell.

“I wouldn’t class her as vulnerable in the true sense of the word, but she certainly has been preyed upon by Mr Layzell and manipulated.

“He never told her what his sentence was other than it was something to do with robbery and for firearms.

“That would indicate what type of person she was dealing with. He was phoning her, we believe using a mobile phone within the prison.”

Alder, who has no previous convictions, sobbed throughout the hearing to such a degree that Judge Samantha Leigh intervened to assure her she would not be jailed.

Alder replied: “Thank you.”

Judge Leigh told her: “This is not sending out a message that we treat drugs in prison lightly.

“I can see for myself you know how serious it is to take drugs into prison. You knew that yourself and you got yourself into a situation completely out of your control.”

Alder was handed an 18 month community order and told to complete 120 hours of unpaid work.