A WOMAN who openly sold heroin in a city centre pub on Boxing Day afternoon has been jailed.

Gemma Joanne Ross, 28, had £1,000 of heroin either on her or at her Acomb home, York Crown Court heard.

Rob Galley, prosecuting, said a member of the public heard her in the toilet telling a client by phone to come to the Priory in Micklegate, later saw a man go up to Ross and her partner in the pub and alerted the authorities.

Ross claimed her partner was doing the dealing and used her to carry the drugs so that he wouldn't be caught with them.

Tearfully, she alleged in the witness box "He mentally and physically abused me. I felt I had no way out."

But Judge Simon Hickey rejected her claim. He said she had a conviction for assaulting a police officer and was free to move about York.

"She was capable of violence herself," he said. "She was capable, in my judgement, of quite easily standing up for herself.

"Those who involved themselves in pernicious drugs like diamorphine (heroin) have to take the consequences once they enter into that world.

"She chose to deal drugs, she was willingly involved in this enterprise.

"There was open dealing of drugs in the Priory public house in Micklegate on Boxing Day."

He jailed Ross for three years and four months.

He also said the partner, who was arrested at the scene, but not charged, had played the leading role in the drug dealing.

Ross, now of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to possessing heroin with intent to supply it on December 26, 2017.

Matthew Collins, for her, said she had since left the partner and was tackling her heroin addiction in jail.

She had had no criminal convictions before she met up with the partner.

Ross alleged the partner introduced her to heroin and supplied her with the drug.

Mr Galley said Ross went back and forth from the toilets in the pub and appeared to be on drugs.

Police found messages related to drug dealing on her phone including arranging drug meets and describing the amount of drugs available.

A spokesman for the pub said after the case "The pub has a zero tolerance policy about drug dealing and will always report any drug dealing activity to the police."