Sep 7 2012 by Colin Rutherford, Kilmarnock Standard
A WOMAN smuggled heroin into Kilmarnock Prison after her family was threatened, a court heard last week.
Christine Hillhouse, 34, of Vinepark Avenue, Kilmaurs, was jailed for four months after pleading guilty to possessing the class A drug with intent to supply it to a prisoner in May.
Carol Gammie, defending, said that the case had earlier been continued to “ascertain whether there was a possible defence of coercion”.
But Ms Gammie told the court: “As she did not contact police straight away, that defence is not open to her.”
The solicitor said that a police interview with Hillhouse confirmed her position.
“She was contacted by persons she knew and had reason to be afraid of,” said Ms Gammie. “They said they knew where her brother was and that, if she didn’t co-operate, she would never see her brother again.”
A car arrived to take her to the prison only 30 minutes later.
Ms Gammie said that Hillhouse, herself a heroin addict, had health problems, but believed that she would be able to carry out unpaid work.
She had worked for most of her life, stopping only to care for her ill father and, later, her mother.
She would also benefit from supervision, she said.
“She is a very anxious woman, constantly on the brink of tears,” said Ms Gammie.
“She is assessed as being a vulnerable adult.”
Sheriff Brian Murphy told Hillhouse: “I accept much of what has been said, but a message has to go out that carrying drugs into prison will be met severely.”