A Christian grandmother has been spared jail after smuggling drugs into prison.

Sarah Fuller, of Armstrong Gardens, Shenley, had been encouraged by her church to contact serving prisoners and urge them to repent.

Fuller, 55, made contact with a jailed armed robber but later ended up in court herself to plead guilty to smuggling £100 worth of cannabis into the jail during a visit.

She was caught by prison guards as she tried to take the drug into Swaleside Prison on the Isle of Sheppey inside a children’s Kinder Egg.

The mother of five, who is also a grandmother, wept in the dock at Maidstone Crown Court as she was sentenced to a five-month sentence suspended for two years.

The court was told that Fuller was involved in spiritual healing and was deeply religious, and had been encouraged by her church to write to prisoners to help them repent.

Prosecuting counsel Kieran Brand said Fuller had been watched carefully on the day she was caught as guards were suspicious that on previous visits she had passed other items to David Jackson, who was serving a sentence for armed robbery.

The Kinder Egg was found after she was watched taking something out of the waistband of her trousers, which she then put on a tray at the tea bar and covered it in tissue.

After she was caught, Fuller claimed she had been threatened into carrying out the drug smuggling operation.

Her barristed Parveen Mansoor said: “She wrote to Mr Jackson to help him see the error of his ways. But this was a grandmother dealing with a serious armed robbery on a Securicor van; she was completely out of her depth.

“She thinks now that his intention all along was simply to use her, to coerce her into bringing him drugs. She was incredibly embarrassed by her behaviour and couldn’t raise it with her family.”

The judge said the offence would be treated “extremely seriously”, but suspended the sentence on the basis that the prosecution had not been able to disprove her claims she had been threatened.