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Two sentenced for trying to get drugs into a Hertfordshire prison

October 22, 2014, 12:21 pm

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A man and woman have been sentenced to a total of eight years in prison for their part in an attempted ‘throw over of drugs and other items into The Mount prison in Bovingdon.

Pattrine Stephenson-Francis, who is 33 years old and from Third Avenue in Kilburn, and 47 year old Owen Foster, who is of no fixed address, both appeared before Luton Crown Court on Friday (October 17) to be sentenced for conspiracy to supply Class B drugs and a third charge of attempting to convey mobile phones and alcohol into prison.

She received a four and a half year prison term, he was given three and a half years. Stephenson-Francis had been found guilty on Thursday following a trial, Foster had pleaded guilty an earlier hearing.

The two were arrested following an investigation into an incident at the prison on April 3rd, 2013. On that day, Pattrine had been picked up in a taxi from her home address, before the taxi driver was asked to stop and pick up a man nearby. The taxi driver was then instructed to drive on to The Mount.

When they arrived, the man who had been picked up got out of the vehicle. He was subsequently seen in the trees by prison officers, who had been alerted to suspicious activity whilst monitoring CCTV.

Items were recovered, which were meant to have reached prisoners inside The Mount. These included cannabis, heroin, alcohol and mobile phones.

Detective Inspector Ian Butler is in charge of Hertfordshire Constabularys specialist Rapid Action, Intervention and Disruption (RAID) team which lead the investigation. He said: “These are serious offences and I am pleased the sentences given to these two reflect this.

“They were arrested following some excellent investigative work and I hope this sends a strong message to anyone thinking of doing anything similar, that prison officers and the police will do everything in their power to bring offenders to justice.

“I would also like to reassure members of the local community that proactive patrols by my team, who are working closely with the prison and other agencies, is on-going. We will continue this partnership working to ensure we can prevent and disrupt any prohibited items reaching prisoners for the safety of prisoners and the community.

“I would encourage anyone who knows who is involved in this type of crime to report it to police in confidence on 101 or by calling Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

A prison spokesperson said: “This sentence clearly demonstrates that these crimes bring severe consequences. We will continue to work in partnership with Herts Police in keeping our communities safe and fighting crime wherever it takes place.”

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