A former prison officer has been sentenced to six and a half years’ imprisonment after she pleaded guilty to misconduct in a public office and a number of offences relating to supplying drugs to prisoners at HM Young Offenders’ Institute (HMYOI) in Aylesbury.
Claire Bennett, aged 44, of Sandbanks Close in Hailsham, East Sussex, pleaded guilty to one count of misconduct in a public office, one count of supplying a controlled drug of class B, one count of possessing a controlled drug of class B and one count of bringing/throwing or conveying a list ‘A’ prohibited article into/out of a prison at a hearing at Aylesbury Crown Court on Friday (2/11).
The offences all occurred between 1 January 2017 and 2 June 2017.
Bennett, who was a serving prison officer at HMYOI Aylesbury, brought drugs into the prison to a value of £10,000. She also leaked prison intelligence to prisoners, preventing them from being caught with drugs and phones.
She was charged with all of the offences on 10 September before entering her guilty plea on Friday.
PC Maureen Moore of the Prison Investigation team, said:
“Bennett knowingly brought drugs into the prison which causes danger and violence to both prisoners and officers alike.
“The presence of drugs in prison leads to violence, bullying, debt and prevents prisoners from addressing their substance misuse.
“Her conduct severely compromised the safety of staff and visitors to the prison.
“I hope that this lengthy sentence will act as a deterrent for others who might be engaging in illicit activity within the prison system.
“A priority area for HMYOI Aylesbury is the management of offenders affected by gangs and violence, and Bennett’s leaking of prison information to gang members jeopardised this work and put vulnerable prisoners and members of staff at risk.”
Prisons Minster Rory Stewart MP, said:
“Corrupt and criminal activity like this undermines a whole prison and puts our hard-working staff at risk.
“I am grateful to the police for their efforts to stop her and pleased the court has handed down this significant sentence.”