Page last updated at 18:52 GMT, Thursday, 19 November 2009

Smuggling prison officer jailed

A prison officer who smuggled drugs in her bra into a maximum security prison has been jailed for seven years.

Lucy Reynolds, 29, of St Philips Drive, Evesham, also smuggled phones and sim cards into Long Lartin Prison, near Evesham, Worcester Crown Court heard.

She had pleaded guilty to misconduct in a public office and possession of heroin and cannabis with intent to supply.

Prosecutors said the sentence reflected her "breach of trust".

Justice system 'undermined'

Reynolds had pleaded guilty to the three charges at Worcester Crown Court in September.

The court heard that she was given money from prisoners' contacts for smuggling drugs and other items past the prison's security systems over a four-month period in 2008.

Reynolds told the court she had fallen in love with an inmate.

Defence lawyers also told the court that she felt under pressure to smuggle items into the jail and inmates had threatened to scald her with water and oil if she refused.

Paul Whitfield, crown advocate at the Crown Prosecution Service, said after the case: "The sentence is extremely serious.

"Seven years is a high sentence but it reflects the breach of trust that is demonstrated by this behaviour."

'Strong message'

He said Reynolds had undermined the criminal justice system as well as security and seclusion at the Category A jail.

Peter Luff, Conservative MP for Mid-Worcestershire, said the availability of drugs in prisons was a problem across the UK and he was "delighted" someone had been caught and given a "severe penalty".

He said: "I hope it sends a very strong message out to other people who may have access to prisoners and participate in this trade.

"It's not fair for the prisoners themselves. Prison should be an opportunity to get off drugs - not to feed the habit."

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