A visitor to a North East prison was caught trying to smuggle in a package full of banned items the size of a house brick down his trousers – including £40,000 of tobacco.
Theodore Adekoya turned up to meet an inmate he didn’t even know at HMP Northumberland with a packet of drugs and mobile phones stuffed down his trousers.
While in the visiting area, he was spotted passing the illicit goods under the table to prisoner Raheem Jackson, a court heard.
It contained the former legal high spice, cannabis, nine mobile phones and tobacco worth £40,000 in custody.
Adekoya was detained but when police said they didn’t have anyone free to come and arrest him, he was set free – and went on to damage a locker door in the visitor’s centre.
Now the 22-year-old, who had travelled to meet other inmates on previous occasions, has been jailed for 20 months at Newcastle Crown Court.
Judge Julie Clemitson told him: “You became embroiled in what was a wider criminal enterprise and you were foolish enough to become indebted to people who could use you to place pressure on you to take packages into prison.
These offences are particularly serious as they have an undermining effect to the whole prison establishment.
“They cause disorder and increase the risk to inmates and staff and they make it more difficult to run a prison in an orderly fashion.
“They create further crime in prison and they completely undermine efforts to rehabilitate people who had an addiction to drugs.”
It was on December 21 last year that Adekoya went to HMP Northumberland.
Michael Bunch, prosecuting, said: “During that visit the defendant was seen to pass a package to the prisoner he was visiting, described later as roughly the size of a house brick.
“Having been hidden under clothing, it was passed to the inmate, attempting to use the table as a screen.
“It was seen and they were separated and a package was recovered from Raheem Jackson when he was searched.
Adekoya was asked to remain pending the police’s arrival and he did for a time but officers were unable to attend straight away due to other commitments and so he was sent on his way.
Bunch said: “Having done that, he then made his way across to the visitor’s centre, forced open a door of that building, causing damage, then forced open a locker in the visitor’s centre.”
He was detained by staff, police were called again and arrived to arrest him.
When the package was examined it was found to contain 29g of cannabis and 42g of cannabis leaf, worth up to £540 in prison.
It also contained 5.5g of spice, nine mobile phones, nine mobile phone chargers and 142g of tobacco, worth around £4,000 in jail.
Adekoya pleaded guilty to conveying banned articles into prison and criminal damage.
Mark Styles, defending, said he was compelled to do it by others as a result of a debt and had been added to visiting lists and “rather stupidly goes along”.
He added: “He’s not the most subtle courier, he draws attention to himself.
“He doesn’t have a criminal background, which is why he was being used and he had no legitimate income.
“He understands he has been a very foolish young man who has been used by others.”