Page last updated at 15:56 GMT, Thursday, 26 March 2009

Prison warder jailed over drugs

Patricia Ollivierre
Patricia Ollivierre had been a prison officer for more than six years

A female prison officer found guilty of possessing cocaine and heroin for supply has been jailed for seven years.

Patricia Ollivierre, from Brent, north London, was arrested after colleagues at Wormwood Scrubs became suspicious. The drugs were found in her car.

Ollivierre, 30, who was involved with a prisoner, also received a year in jail for misconduct in a public office.

Judge Andrew Goymer said a prison officer dealing drugs to inmates was a "very grave breach of duty".

Close relationship

The judge she had shown a "total lack of judgment" and described the case as "a very real tragedy" for her and her family.

He added: "A prison officer is employed to prevent and disrupt the traffic of drugs into prison."

Ollivierre, who had been a warder for more than six years, was caught in an operation by the new London Prison Anti-Corruption Team (LPACT).

Its aim is to tackle the trafficking of mobile telephones and controlled drugs into jails by staff.

I believe my feelings overshadowed my professional conduct at the time
Patricia Ollivierre

Police said Ollivierre was found with drugs with a prison value of more than £5,500 - up to 10 times what they would be worth on the street.

When confronted, she hid one wrap of heroin in her mouth, but later insisted all of the drugs belonged to a friend, an ex-convict.

Ollivierre admitted having an "inappropriate" relationship with a convicted robber and London's Southwark Crown Court had heard how she had received more than 150 calls from him on a mobile phone smuggled into the jail.

One of her text messages replies read: "Love you sexy." Another spoke of her regret at not being allowed to "touch" him.

"I believe my feelings overshadowed my professional conduct at the time," she told the court before being found guilty last month.

Prosecutors said Ollivierre had planned to traffic drugs into the prison for "a prisoner or prisoners for commercial gain".

They said it was "reasonable" to infer that "one of the possible recipients" was the prisoner she had fallen for.

She, however, denied running drugs and was found not guilty of the charge.

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