Prison officer caught taking drugs into jail

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A PRISON officer and an inmate conspired to smuggle illegal drugs into a Suffolk jail, a court heard.

Alex Sheppard, 22, was caught out by a random search of staff as they arrived for a night shift at HMP Highpoint, at Stradishall, on May 27 last year.

Prosecutor Jonathan Chibafa told Ipswich Crown Court on Friday that inside a rucksack being carried by Sheppard were two packages, one containing heroin and the other cannabis.

Inside the prison was Adam Bloy, 25, serving a sentence for robbery, who was the intended recipient.

Both Sheppard and Bloy pleaded guilty to two offences of conspiracy to supply controlled drugs.

The court heard that Sheppard claimed he committed the offence because of threats made by Bloy.

However, Bloy alleged that Sheppard was smuggling in the drugs to him in return for the promise of a cash payment of £300.

Bloy said that Sheppard, who was in financial difficulties, had seemed ‘quite happy’ to do it, said Mr Chibafa.

The hearing was adjourned until a date yet to be set when Judge John Holt will decide which version of events to accept and then sentence both men who remain in custody.

Sheppard, of John Davis Way, Watlington, near King’s Lynn, had worked for three years at HMP Highpoint. He told the court that he had known Bloy, of Woodward Avenue, King’s Lynn, before he was sent to prison.

The drugs found in the rucksack were alleged to have been collected by Sheppard from a woman in Bury St Edmunds.

Fiona Wraight, a 21-year-old financial consultant of Rockingham Road, Bury St Edmunds, pleaded guilty to conveying a bottle of vodka which was also inside the rucksack.

She denied any knowledge of the presence of drugs.

She was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment suspended for 12 months with a requirement to complete 200 hours of unpaid community work.