Drug mastermind mum caught with heroin and spice during first day of 11-year jail sentence

A mum who masterminded a county lines drug dealing operation worth £1.4m was caught in possession of spice and heroin on her first day serving an 11-year prison sentence.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 12:30 pm

Leslie Aytoun was sent to HMP New Hall on August 28 last year after pleading guilty to a major heroin and crack cocaine supply conspiracy.

Leeds Crown Court heard officers became suspicious as she was being admitted to the prison, near Wakefield.

The 50-year-old was asked to provide a urine sample but officers approached her over the length of time it was taking her.

HMP New Hall.

The defendant told officers: "I've got something stuck."

She then removed three packages from her bra which she handed to the officers.

Jane Brady, prosecuting, said Aytoun was taken to Pinderfields Hospital by ambulance in the early hours of the following morning.

Doctors recovered a Kinder Egg capsule from her body.

The packages were examined and found to contain paper laced with the drug spice.

It also contained heroin and tablets of a class C drug.

Aytoun told police that the drugs were for her own use in custody.

The defendant said she was a drug addict and had no intention of supplying them to others.

Aytoun, from Liverpool, pleaded guilty to conveying a psychoactive substance, a class A drug and a class C drug into prison.

She has previous convictions for drug offences.

Jason Smith, mitigating, said: "She is serving a long period of imprisonment.

"This is an offence that took place in the prison environment but does not involve the distribution or supply of drugs.

"We are looking at a 50-year-old woman who has had problems with drugs for most of her life.

"She knows it was wrong and admitted the offences."

Judge Simon Batiste imposed to a sentence of six months, to be added to the sentence she is currently serving.

The judge said: "As a matter of public policy the message must go out that drugs must not be taken in to prison, even for personal use."

Aytoun was one of six people locked up last August over the county lines drug operation which brought misery to the streets of Grimsby.

The organised crime group helped transport £1.38 million worth of heroin and crack cocaine into the town over an 18-month period, then used local people and some from outside the area to sell the drugs.

Police said Aytoun, who was arrested in Liverpool, ran the operation with a "graft" phone, taking calls from drug users in Grimsby and directing them where to go to pick up heroin or crack cocaine.

She teamed up with her two sons to organise the operation, which saw drugs delivered from one side of the country to the other.

Aytoun admitted two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs between September 2017 and March 2019 and was sentenced to 11 years.