Drug mum skipped court after problem with her babysitter

Hartlepool Law Courts, incorporating Hartlepool Magistrates' Court.
Hartlepool Law Courts, incorporating Hartlepool Magistrates' Court.

A mum who had illegal drugs in a handbag was arrested after she failed to turn up at court.

Sarah Meakins, 23, appeared before Hartlepool Magistrates in custody after handing herself in.

The court heard a warrant for her arrest was issued after she failed to turn up in court.

Andrew Teate, defending, said Meakins intended to come to court on the correct day, but had been let down by her baby sitter.

“She has a young child,” added Mr Teate.

“She thought it inappropriate to bring the child to court.

“She contacted me in the afternoon and I advised her to hand herself in, which is what she did.

“That wasn’t entirely straightforward.

“When she presented herself at the front desk of the police station, she was told to go away because at first the officer couldn’t find the warrant.”

Meakins, of Flaxton Street, Hartlepool, admitted possession of a Class C drug on November 28 last year.

Katherine Hannah, prosecuting, said 40 diazepam tablets were found in a handbag during a police search of Meakins’ home.

Ms Hannah added: “Meakins has a previous conviction for possession of a Class B drug, although that offence was committed after this one.

Mr Teate told the court the handbag had been given to Meakins by a friend.

“She looked in it and saw the tablets,” said Mr Teate.

“Ms Meakins is not a drug user, but she knew they were drugs of some sort.

“She asked her friend if she wanted them back, but she said ‘no’ as they were only sleeping pills.

“I have no idea why this case has taken eight months to come to court.

“But at least the date of the offence falls outside the Criminal Court Surcharge, so Ms Meakins is £150 better off than had she committed it yesterday.”

Meakins was given a conditional discharge of three months, and ordered to pay £60 costs.