New legislation used for the first time in Nottinghamshire has secured the conviction of a man who threw drugs into HMP Nottingham.
Louis Denham, 21, pleaded guilty at Nottingham Crown Court to two counts of supplying psychoactive substances and sentenced to 16 months in prison on Thursday 26 January 2017.
Denham carried out ‘throw overs’ into the prison from Edingley Square, Nottingham, which is just a few yards away.
In March 2016, packages were found in the prison grounds and subsequently sent for forensic analysis. Denham’s fingerprints were found.
On 26 August 2016, 10 cigar-sized packets containing drugs were found close to the prison’s perimeter fence. Denham, formerly of Woodfield Road, Nottingham, was seen nearby and chased down by a PC who arrested him.
And a search of Denham’s home uncovered 10 micro-sized mobile phones, small enough to fit inside the drug packages.
The drugs came under the definition of psychoactive substances, more commonly yet misleadingly known as ‘legal highs’. It is known that these types of drugs are a problem in prisons across the country.
New legislation introduced in 2015 under the Serious Crime Act made it an offence to throw packages into a prison and it acts to criminalise throwing new psychoactive substances (NPS) into prison grounds in an attempt to supply drugs.
DI Ed Cook who led the operation said: “This is the result of an operation between Nottinghamshire Police and HMP Nottingham to target offenders supplying items into the prison.
“New Psychoactive Substances can be directly linked to an increase in violence because of the unpredictable effects on the user’s health. This in turn increases demand on prison staff and the emergency services including police and healthcare.
“We have a duty to ensure our communities are safe, including the prison community and that means bringing people like Denham, who was using access to local residents’ gardens to supply the prison, to justice.
“Further operations will be conducted to target such offences at all our Prison establishments.”
Tom Wheatley, Governor of HMP Nottingham said: “Psychoactive substances cause misery in prison and those who supply them are breaking the law and obstructing us from delivering a safe, secure and decent environment.
“We work with our law enforcement partners to ensure that this activity is likely to result in imprisonment for the perpetrators.”