Five sentenced for smuggling phones and drugs into Lewes Prison

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Five people have been sentenced for a conspiracy to smuggle mobile phones and drugs into Lewes Prison, Sussex Police have said.

Police say Four of the five were sentenced to varying terms by Judge Paul Tain, at Lewes Crown Court on Friday (Decembe 2) after all pleaded guilty at earlier hearings.

Nicholas Nolan, 64, a legal executive, of Lansdowne Road, Worthing and Liam Newman, 30, a building labourer, of Buci Crescent, Shoreham were also jailed

Nicholas Nolan, 64, a legal executive, of Lansdowne Road, Worthing and Liam Newman, 30, a building labourer, of Buci Crescent, Shoreham were also jailed

They include Ann Wright, 45, of Wadhurst Close, Eastbourne, a nurse who worked at the prison. She was sentenced 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.

Matthew Johnson, 25, a roofer, of Stoney Lane, Shoreham, 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.

Sussex Police say the offences took place on various dates between September and November 2014. Three mobile phones were seized at the prison during the investigation.

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 on Friday (December 9) for two offences of conspiracy to convey prohibited articles, namely mobile phones.

Police say he was given no separate penalty having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to convey 'spice' into the prison.

The prosecutions followed an investigation by the Sussex Police Serious Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), working in close co-operation with the prison service.

Wright was a nurse employed by the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust at Eastbourne District Hospital, but also worked as a part-time nurse for the Sussex Partnership NHS Trust in the Healthcare Department at Lewes Prison.

On October 10, 2014 the cell of then remand prisoners, Newman and Johnson, was searched and found in a bucket was a sock containing two mobile phones, a charger and batteries.

The phones were examined and found to hold the contact details of Ann Wright who had been working at the prison as a nurse for seven years.

Further investigation found that Ann Wright had formed a relationship with Newman and had arranged to smuggle two mobile phones and the then-legal high 'Spice' into the prison with the help of Jess Osbourne who was a friend of another prisoner and had bought one of the phones.

Officers say the 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.

The court heard also heard Newman obtained another mobile phone after the cell was searched and planned with Wright to take more phones into prison.

In sentencing, Judge Tain said that "any breach of the security systems within a prison was a serious matter..." and that it; "saddened and surprised him to see a person such Nolan involved."

Detective Constable Will Thomas of SOCU said; "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."

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