A MUM-OF-FOUR who was caught with heroin hidden inside a toy egg has avoided jail.
Louise Pattison, 29, was stopped by police after being seen involved in a transaction with the occupants of a van in Kesteven Road, Hartlepool.
A search uncovered 8.3 grammes of heroin worth between £200 and £300.
Teesside Crown Court heard Pattison had been strong-armed into holding onto the drug for dealers who had threatened her.
Robin Denny, prosecuting, said Pattison owed money to them and they had helped her while her husband was in prison.
Nigel Soppitt, mitigating, said she had been a soft target and her benefits had also been stopped at the time of the offence.
Pattison, of Moffit Road, Hartlepool, admitted to possessing a class A drug with intent to supply on May 18 last year and was sentenced to 12 months in jail, suspended for two years.