Sunday 14 July 2024
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Sixteen sentenced to almost 90 years in UK’s largest ever prison drugs conspiracy

A prison nursing assistant and 15 others who played a part in the largest ever drug and weapon prison smuggling conspiracy in the UK have been handed sentences totalling almost 90 years.

Amy Hatfield, a 38-year-old mental health nursing assistant, and 16 co-conspirators smuggled over £1 million worth of drugs, knives and mobile phones into the grounds of HMP Lindholme in Doncaster.

The group’s sentencing follows a four-year investigation by South Yorkshire Police’s Prison Anti-Corruption Unit, supported by staff at the prison.

The inquiry started in 2019 when, on 24 October, Hatfield was arrested as she arrived for work.

In her possession, officers found MDMA, bags of ketamine, spice paper, vials of testosterone, anabolic steroids, mobile phones, phone accessories, tobacco and other prescription drugs. She also had four Ribena bottles with her, which contained around two litres of liquid spice. This alone was estimated by prison experts to be worth over £1 million.

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Over the following months and years, officers unravelled a highly complex criminal network operating inside HMP Lindholme, leading to Hatfield and a further 16 co-conspirators being charged and convicted.

The sentences are detailed below:

  • Amy Hatfield, 38, of HMP Newhall, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, conspiracy to supply Class B drugs, conspiracy to convey drugs into prison, conspiracy to convey phones into prison, conveying knives into prison and money laundering. She has been sentenced to total of ten years and two months in prison.
  • Kieran Murphy, 26, of HMP Altercourse, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class B drugs and conspiracy to convey phones into prison. He was also found guilty by jury after a four-day trial at Sheffield Crown Court in June 2023 of conspiring to convey knives into prison. He has today been sentenced to total of seven years and nine months in prison.
  • Joseph Whittingham, 35, of HMP Leeds, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class B drugs, conspiracy to convey drugs into prison, conspiracy to convey a knife into prison and conspiracy to convey phones into prison. He has today been sentenced to total of eleven years and four months in prison.
  • Jordan Needham, 31, of HMP Dovegate, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, conspiracy to supply Class B drugs, conspiracy to convey drugs into prison, and conspiracy to convey phones into prison. He has today been sentenced to a total of nine years and six months in prison.
  • Anthony Campbell, 38, of HMP Dovegate, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class B drugs, conspiracy to convey drugs into prison, and conspiracy to convey phones into prison. He has today been sentenced to a total of eleven years in prison.
  • Courtney Ward, 26, of Nottingham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and conspiracy to supply Class B drugs. She has today been sentenced to a total of four years and six months in prison.
  • Audrey Needham, 56, of Nottingham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class B drugs and money laundering. She has today been sentenced to a total of four years and three months in prison.
  • Deborah Stoddard, 56, of Shorefields Village, Liverpool, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class B drugs, conspiracy to convey drugs into prison, conspiracy to convey knives into prison, conspiracy to convey phones into prison, and money laundering. She has today been sentenced to total of nine years and six months in prison.
  • Leighton Kemp, 29, of Nottingham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class B drugs, conspiracy to convey drugs into prison, conspiracy to convey phones into prison, and money laundering. He has today been sentenced to a total of five years in prison.
  • Kora Haley, 30, of Holme Lane, Bradford, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class B drugs, conspiracy to convey phones into prison and money laundering. She has today been sentenced to three years and four months in prison.
  • Aneeze Williamson, 30, of HMP Leeds, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class B drugs and conspiracy to convey phones into prison. He has today been sentenced to five years and five months in prison.
  • Natalie Williamson, 35, of West Royd Drive, Shipley, pleaded guilty to money laundering and being concerned in the supply of Class B drugs. She has today been  sentenced to 12 months in prison.
  • Lee Holmes, 44, of Sylvia Terrace, Stanley, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class B drugs, conspiracy to convey drugs into prison and money laundering. He has today sentenced to a total of two years and three months in prison.
  • Lucy Whittingham, 37, from Bradford, pleaded guilty to money laundering. She has today been handed a two year suspended sentence and a community order.
  • Paul Whittingham, 59, of Halifax Road, Bradford, was found guilty of money laundering at trial. However, Whittingham was found not guilty of conspiracy to supply Class B drugs, conspiracy to convey drugs into prison, and conspiracy to convey phones into prison. Today, he was handed a twenty month suspended sentence and a community order in relation to the money laundering offence.
  • Lydia Pinnington, 23, of Clieves Road, Liverpool, pleaded guilty to charge of money laundering. She appeared alongside Paul Whittingham on trial charged with conspiracy to convey drugs into prison and conspiracy to convey phones into prison. She was found not guilty of these offences. Today, she was handed a fourteen month suspended sentence and a community order in relation to the money laundering offence.

A seventeenth defendant, William Francis, 56, of Nottingham, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply Class A drugs (heroin), two counts of possession with intent to supply Class B drugs, and conspiracy to convey drugs into prison. He is due to be sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court on 15 December.

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