A young mother from Malvern caught smuggling heroin in a bid to pay off a drug debt has been jailed for four years.

Charlotte Cull, aged 38, of Pickersleigh Grove, was arrested as she stepped off a train at Malvern Link station in August last year.

She and a companion, 26-year-old Mukesh Thapar, of Church Lane, Handsworth, Birmingham, had been to Cardiff to collect drugs, said Alison Scott-Jones, prosecuting.

As they got off the train they found South Worcestershire Proactive CID officers waiting for them.

Cull was found to have 46 wraps of cocaine on her and Thapar had 56 wraps of heroin. The combined estimated street value of the drugs was £1,460.

The pair, said to have been in a relationship for two months, pleaded guilty to drug dealing.

Thapar was jailed for three years and each was ordered to pay £120 victim surcharge.

Cull, said to have a young son, will have five months deducted from her sentence because of the time spent in custody on remand.

Miss Scott-Jones said police were waiting as the pair stepped off the 8.20pm train on August 22. They had been to Cardiff for the day, met someone on a car park, and returned with the drugs.

In an interview, Cull said she had a drug debt of £600 but hoped to reduce it by taking part in the trip to Wales. Analysis of her mobile phone showed evidence of dealing.

Thapar, who made a no comment interview, denied being involved in an attempt to supply drugs. He had met Cull through a mutual friend two months before they were arrested.

He became aware of her drug debt and foolishly decided to support her, said Stephen Parker, mitigating. He had no financial gain.

Barry Newton, for Cull, said she had decided to take action early last year when she was told that her drug debt had gone up to £2,000. Thapar had agreed to help her out.

Sentencing at Worcester Crown Court, Judge Robert Juckes QC said it appeared that dealing had been going on for some week. He added that it was drugs that drove many people into the perpetration of such crimes as burglary.

Detective constable Jez Hazlewood, who led the investigation, said inquiries into the supply of Class A drugs in Malvern are continuing and more arrests could follow in due course.

“We are very pleased with the outcome and hope the sentences serve as a warning to others involved in these types of offences," he said. "Malvern is a beautiful town and it shows that we will not tolerate people living here or coming in from outside the area to pedal drugs and spread misery in the community.

“Illegal drugs supply and misuse have a big impact on our neighbourhoods due to the acquisitive crime, such as burglary and theft, which often goes hand in hand with it.

“Breaking the cycle of supply and demand by taking out the dealers is one key component of our drugs strategy designed to combat this.

“Those involved in such offences can be sure that there will be no let-up in our war on drugs and, as today’s sentences illustrate, anyone caught is likely to lose their liberty.”