Trio jailed for shipping drugs to Weston on a train

Jennifer Sprague was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court. Picture: Avon and Somerset Constabulary.

Jennifer Sprague was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court. Picture: Avon and Somerset Constabulary. - Credit: Avon and Somerset Constabulary.

Three criminals have been sentenced after using a train to get drugs into Weston-super-Mare.

Ringleader Jennifer Sprague, of Monkton Avenue, was jailed for her role in the enterprise, while her co-defendants were given a suspended prison sentence.

Bristol Crown Court was told Sprague orchestrated a 2kg drop off of amphetamines at Weston Railway Station in June 2017.

She then sent text messages to Wayne Smith and Sara Short to arrange distributing the drug.

The trio admitted being concerned in the supply of drugs.

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Judge James Patrick, at their sentencing hearing on October 25, said: “This was a significant amount of drugs and it is clear you were in the market for amphetamines.”

Philip Warren, prosecuting, stated Sprague was at the heart of the operation, in which she told the co-defendants about the drop-off of ‘food shopping’ bags.

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He said: “Sprague was above them in the chain.

“She was the one getting it down from Merseyside.”

Jennifer Tallentine, defending Sprague, said her client was under a lot of ‘stress’ caring for her ill mother and her financial affairs had been negatively affected by the roll-out of Universal Credit.

It is the second time Sprague, aged 51, has been jailed for offences related to drug-dealing, having received a 16-month sentence back in 2014 – a stretch she labelled as a ‘holiday’ when arranging the delivery of amphetamines.

Judge Patrick, in sentencing Sprague, said: “You described you had been on a holiday – I accept that was slang and not minimising the sentence.

“But it showed you knew perfectly well what you were doing and the risks you were taking.”

He said Sprague’s previous criminal past was a ‘serious aggravating’ factor and justified her 18-month imprisonment.

Tabitha Macfarlane, defending Short, said her client had been suffering with anxiety and depression, while the judge was told Smith had never been before the courts before.

Short and Smith, both of Coleridge Road, received suspended sentences of 12 and 10 months respectively.

Short, aged 46, must also undertake a rehabilitation order, while her 38-year-old partner must carry out 150 hours unpaid work too.

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