A NEWPORT woman who sold heroin to an undercover police officer has been jailed.

Lorraine Hawksby, 61, of Kirby Lane, pleaded guilty to supplying a class A drug at Newport Crown Court on Wednesday, November 8.

The court heard the case was linked to Gwent Police’s Operation Jewels II, with this matter being the final case of the investigation.

Prosecuting, Jason Howells told the court that the offence related to a £10 deal for an amount of heroin, which weighed only 0.187g.

He said: “On December 9 of last year, an undercover police officer called Cassie went to Bolt Close. She wanted to purchase some heroin.

“She knocked on the door. It was opened by the defendant who was with a young girl.

“The deal took place on the doorstep itself.”

Following her arrest, Hawksby denied selling the heroin to the officer, claiming it was mistaken identify but ultimately pleaded guilty at the start of the trial, the court heard.

“She denied she had been involved in the sale of drugs,” said Mr Howells, “It was a wrong identification.”

The court heard that Hawksby had 10 convictions across 18 offences ranging from 1967 to 2005, including an offence of possession with intent to supply amphetamines in 2002 for which she received nine months in prison.

Mr Howells made an application for forfeiture and destruction of the drug.

Defending, Nick Gedge told the court that it was only a small amount of heroin involved in the transaction, and Hawksby had shown remorse.

“It was a single incident of 0.18g or 0.19g,” he said, “I appreciate it was the sale of drugs to a user but it was a small amount.

“She should not have done it and she is ashamed of it.”

Mr Gedge added that Hawksby answered the door at her brother’s direction and she is deemed a low risk of reconviction and harm to others.

He added that the 61-year-old had a number of health issues, although he accepted that Hawksby had committed a relevant offence 15 years ago.

“She has a lot of various and not entirely straightforward medical difficulties which she is doing her best to address,” said Mr Gedge.

Concluding, judge Daniel Williams said that Hawksby would have been aware of the dangers of selling the drugs due to her previous convictions.

“She said she wanted heroin. You returned with a wrap of heroin,” he said.

“You lied your way through interview and only pleaded guilty on the day of the trial.

“You went into what you did open-eyed.

“It is aggravated by your previous convictions but mitigated by your poor health.”

Hawksby received a sentence of 21 months in prison and will be released on licence midway through her sentence.