South Scotland

Pregnant woman jailed for Beattock caravan park drug offence

High Court in Glasgow
Image caption Sarah Keegan was jailed at the High Court in Glasgow

A pregnant drug dealer who asked not to be jailed because she did not want her baby born in prison has been given a two-year sentence.

Sarah Keegan, 32, who is due to give birth in June, admitted being concerned in the supply of heroin in April last year at a caravan park in Beattock.

A court heard she did not want to be in custody when her baby was born.

However, Judge Lord Boyd told her the offence was too serious to receive a non-custodial sentence.

Defence counsel Susan Duff told the High Court in Glasgow: "She is due to give birth on 18 June and she doesn't want to be in custody when she gives birth.

"She is asking for a non-custodial sentence to be considered."

'Role model'

Lord Boyd told her he could understand her wish not to have the baby while in prison.

He said she was drug-free and had said the right thing about wanting to be a "role model" to the child but added the crime was too serious not to result in a prison term.

"You have yourself been an addict," he said.

"You should know the misery that drugs bring to people and the communities blighted by it."

Keegan was arrested along with former co-accused Jason Jolley, who was jailed for five years, following a police operation codenamed Operation Boswell.

Police believed that Jolley, 45, and Keegan, both originally from Manchester, were flooding the Dumfries area with drugs.

Prosecutor Allan Nicol said: "Intelligence suggested that Jolley was directly supplying others and had local dealers working for him."

Jolley and Keegan based themselves at the Moffat Manor Country Park in Beattock, and were organising deliveries of the drug from this location into Dumfries and the surrounding area.

'Moving force'

Officers swooped on this location on 27 April 2016, and recovered heroin and cutting agent worth a potential £65,000 from within the caravan occupied by Jolley and Keegan.

Inside the caravan police found drugs paraphernalia including a set of scales and 22 knotted bags of heroin.

Jolley and Keegan's DNA and fingerprints were found on various items throughout.

A small amount of heroin was also found in Keegan's underwear during a strip search at Loreburn Street Police Station.

Lord Boyd told Keegan: "I fully accept that Jason Jolley was the moving force behind the operation.

"However, your DNA was found on various items and you were clearly involved."

Ms Duff told the court that at the time of the offence her client had been a heroin addict.

"She doesn't want that lifestyle again and is not prepared to take any drugs that may harm her baby," she said.

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