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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 December 2007, 18:39 GMT
Drug supply prison guard jailed
Gordon Hacker
Hacker helped arrange for drugs to be thrown over the prison wall

A former prison guard and two inmates have been sentenced for supplying drugs to a privately-run Warwickshire prison.

Gordon Hacker, of Corbett Street, Rugby, admitted conspiring to smuggle cannabis into HMP Rye Hill between November 2004 and April 2005.

The 44-year-old was jailed for four years at Northampton Crown Court.

Convicted armed robbers Steven McCluskey and Thomas Zealand, both from Coventry, were jailed for five years and four-and-a-half years respectively.

McCluskey, 25, admitted conspiracy to supply cannabis while Zealand, 27, also admitted supplying heroin and ecstasy.

You knew what was going on and facilitated the process by giving notice to those involved of the best times to throw drugs over the prison wall
Judge Richard Bray, sentencing Hacker

The court heard Hacker had advised the inmates when the best times were for drugs to be thrown over the prison wall.

He claimed he had not been rewarded for his actions and had helped the inmates because he felt under pressure.

"He was surrounded by prisoners who knew the prison inside out. What he did was try to create a favour to get an easy shift," Peter Hunter, defending, said.

Sentencing Hacker, Judge Richard Bray said: "A depressing picture has been painted of Rye Hill Prison, of the availability of drugs within the prison and of low morale among inmates and prison officers.

'Breach of trust'

"You knew what was going on and facilitated the process by giving notice to those involved of the best times to throw drugs over the prison wall.

"I appreciate what was said about the regime at Rye Hill Prison but that cannot excuse what you did, it was a grave breach of trust."

The court heard Zealand's girlfriend Sheree Williams, 23, of Charity Road, Coventry, controlled bank accounts used by prisoners to pay for the drugs and stored 9kg of cannabis in her son's wardrobe. She was jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Zealand's 26-year-old sister Stephanie, of Thompsons Road, Coventry, who was McCluskey's girlfriend, admitted possession of class A drugs with intent to supply and money laundering. She was jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Detective Sergeant Andy Blaize, of Northamptonshire Police, said: "These sentences are very pleasing and underline our message that the supply of drugs in prison will not be tolerated.

"The charges centred on a network of people - inside and outside of the prison - who were engaged in corruption and money laundering."



SEE ALSO
Drugs smuggled by prison officer
19 Nov 07 |  Coventry/Warwickshire
Ex-prison worker on drugs charges
15 Jun 06 |  Coventry/Warwickshire

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