A woman who hid a hunting knife in her handbag has been sentenced to more than two years in prison for drug dealing.

Samantha Earp, 22, of Amberton Garden, Leeds, was sentenced at Basildon Crown Court on Friday, April 26.

Earp was stopped in a Ford KA on Chancellor Road, Southend, by Essex Police’s Op Raptor South team at 11.20am on March 6, 2018.

When searched, it was revealed that Earp was in possession of three mobile phones and had a large hunting-style knife in her handbag.

Earp was strip-searched following her arrival in custody and 20 wraps of heroin, worth a street value of £240, were found in her underwear.

On Friday, Earp admitted one count of possession with intent to supply heroin, for which she received two years and two months imprisonment.

She also admitted one count of possession of a knife in a public place, for which she will serve four months concurrently.

A spokesman for the South Op Raptor team said: “Earp was found to have concealed a significant amount of heroin which, I have no doubt, would have ended up on the streets of Southend.

“Our team will continue in proactive stop and search to target offenders who are targeting vulnerable people in the south of the county and, hopefully, Earp’s sentence will deter her from dealing drugs after she’s released.”

Essex Police set up Operation Raptor teams in the North, South and West of the county to tackle drug and gang-related crime.

If you have information about drug or gang-related crime contact Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.