A WOMAN caught with 36 deals of cannabis in her car and a coat stuffed with £605 in banknotes has been spared an immediate prison sentence.

Sarah Hey made the "stupid" decision to turn to crime because she was in financial difficulty, Judge Jonathan Rose said today.

Hey, 40, of Worth Way, Keighley, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to possession of cannabis with intent to supply on January 27, 2019.

Prosecutor Jessica Heggie told Bradford Crown Court that the police stopped Hey as she was driving in Keighley at 9.30pm.

There was “an overwhelming smell of cannabis” and a large blue carrier bag under the seat of the Vauxhall contained 36 deals of the Class B drug.

The banknotes, many of them screwed up, were found in Hey’s coat.

She told the police she had not noticed the bag of drugs under the car seat and the money was to pay her rent.

Miss Heggie said Hey was forensically linked to the packaginga round the cannabis.

She denied the offence and a trial date was fixed but she later changed her plea to guilty.

Miss Heggie applied for a confiscation order for the money seized.

Clare Walsh, Hey’s barrister, said the offence was 20 months ago and she had stayed out of trouble since.

Judge Rose said it was a classic case of a woman turning to crime because she was in financial difficulty.

“It’s been a big wake-up call for her,” he said.

He told Hey: “You’ve been very, very foolish but I am perfectly satisfied that that is what you have been.”

She had told the police “a tissue of lies” when she should have revealed that she was in financial difficulty.

“That was nothing to be ashamed of, but instead you made the stupid decision to turn to crime,” Judge Rose said.

Hey was sentenced to ten months imprisonment suspended for two years.

She must attend a rehabilitation activity requirement with the probation service and keep to a six-month overnight curfew order between 9pm and 7am.

“You will not be going out partying anywhere but neither will anyone else for the foreseeable future,” Judge Rose told her.

He warned Hey that any breach of the order would lead to imprisonment.

Judge Rose made a deprivation order to seize the Vauxhall car, suspended for 28 days in case someone else wants to come forward as the registered keeper of the vehicle.