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Woman sentenced to five months in jail for attempting to smuggle drugs into prison

In a recent incident at HMP Swansea, a woman named Colleen Hooper was caught trying to smuggle drugs to her partner inside the prison. The incident, which took place on June 7, 2022, unfolded when Hooper visited her partner and was observed behaving suspiciously.

CCTV footage reviewed by prison officers revealed that Hooper had removed an object from her bra. To their astonishment, they noticed her discreetly placing the mysterious item into a packet of crisps that her partner was holding. Sensing something amiss, the officers promptly inspected the package, only to discover ten tablets of buprenorphine concealed within. Buprenorphine, classified as a Class C drug, is commonly used to alleviate pain and combat opioid addiction.

The case against Hooper was presented at Swansea Crown Court, where Prosecuting counsel Brian Simpson shed light on the matter. Simpson informed the court that following the discovery, prison officials immediately notified the police. Subsequently, detectives found an additional 5.6 grams of amphetamine in Hooper’s handbag. Further details revealed that the defendant had a history of prior convictions, with five previous convictions and two cautions for possession of amphetamine in 2010 and 2013.

During the court proceedings, Hooper, a resident of Queensway, Newton Abbot, Devon, pleaded guilty to one count of conveying a controlled Class C drug into prison and one count of possessing amphetamine. In an attempt to mitigate her actions, Mr. Andrew Evans, Hooper’s defense counsel, highlighted her “complex background,” which included struggles with controlled substances. He acknowledged that she was increasingly battling depression and resorting to drug use. Evans added, “She accepts that her actions were foolhardy to say the least.”

Judge Catherine Richards, presiding over the case, addressed Hooper’s high culpability and emphasized that she had intentionally chosen to bring drugs into the prison. Richards admonished the defendant, stating, “You knew the consequences and the risks.” The judge stressed the severity of the issue, citing illegal drugs in prisons as a “serious problem” that jeopardizes the safety of both inmates and staff members.

Consequently, Hooper received a five-month prison sentence, with half of the term to be served in custody and the remainder on license. It was disclosed that Hooper had already undergone a 30-day electronically monitored curfew, and half of that time would be subtracted from her overall sentence.