A DGH nurse who smuggled drugs and mobile phones into Lewes Prison for her lover behind bars has been jailed for 20 months.
Ann Wright, 45, of Wadhurst Close, was employed by the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust at the DGH, but also worked as a part-time nurse for the Sussex Partnership NHS Trust in the Healthcare Department at Lewes Prison, said Sussex Police.
She has been sentenced at Lewes Crown Court to 20 months’ imprisonment for two offences of conspiracy to convey prohibited articles, namely mobile phones and ‘spice’, into the prison on two separate occasions, and misconduct in public office.
Sussex Police revealed that also in the dock were Matthew Johnson, 25, a roofer, of Stoney Lane, Shoreham, who was sentenced to 13 months’ imprisonment for conspiracy to convey prohibited articles namely ‘spice’ and mobile phones into the prison on one occasion.
Nicholas Nolan, 64, a legal executive, of Lansdowne Road, Worthing, was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment for unlawful communication by mobile phone to a prisoner inside the prison.
Jessica Osbourne, 21, a sales assistant, of Cedar Close, Lancing, was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, for conspiracy to convey a prohibited articles namely mobile phones and cannabis into prison on one occasion. She was also given a Drug Treatment and Testing Order and a curfew requirement.
A fifth defendant, Liam Newman, 30, a building labourer, of Buci Crescent, Shoreham, who had also previously pleaded guilty, was sentenced to 13 months’ imprisonment for two offences of conspiracy to convey prohibited articles, namely mobile phones. He was given no separate penalty having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to convey ‘spice’ into the prison.
On 10 October 2014 the cell of two prisoners who were on remand was searched and found in a bucket was a sock containing two mobile phones, a charger and batteries, said police.
The phones were examined and found to hold the contact details of Wright, who had been working at the prison for seven years.
Officers said that further investigation found that Wright had formed a relationship with one of the prisoners, Newman, and had arranged to smuggle two mobile phones and then-legal high Spice into the prison with the help of Osbourne, who was a friend of another prisoner and had bought one of the phones.
Messages also revealed that Nick Nolan, who was working as a legal representative for Wannops Solicitors in Worthing at the time, had visited Johnson whilst working in that capacity.
The day after this visit one of the prison phones and Nolan started communicating and made some 66 contacts over the next few weeks.
After the cell was searched Newman obtained another mobile phone and planned with Wright to take more phones into prison.
In sentencing, Judge Paul Tain said, “Any breach of the security systems within a prison was a serious matter...” and that in particular it “saddened and surprised him to see a person such Nolan involved.”
Detective Constable Will Thomas added, “The sentencings send out a clear message that we will work with our partners in the prison service and health services to help detect and deter such offending.”