Folkestone prison officer Daniel McKenzie jailed for smuggling drugs to inmates at HMP Elmley
by Paul Hooper
A prison hostage negotiator caught smuggling cannabis
to inmates at a Kent jail has told his former colleagues: "I have
broke your trust and bond... and brought a bad name for the service
Prison officer Daniel McKenzie, 27, has been jailed
for five years and four months today after admitting four drug
offences involving class A and B drugs.
But McKenzie, pictured left, pleaded with the
authorities NOT to make him serve his time at Elmley Prison on the
Isle of Sheppey, where he was a guard for two years.
Judge James O'Mahony told him: "What you did subverts the whole
purpose of prison. You betrayed your trust... and you did it for
In a letter, McKenzie, of Cheriton Road, Folkestone, claimed he
did it because of threats from prisoners.
But the judge rejected that as "ridiculous", saying he had
"supplemented his income" by smuggling drugs into prison for
"You did what you did for money," he added.
Canterbury Crown Court heard he had been given £500 to
bring in cannabis,
"I never wanted to put my colleagues in the prison at risk or let them down, inside the walls the officers all look out for each other but I feel that I broke their trust and bond...” – Daniel McKenzie
just £250, to HMP Elmley and then lied about what he did with
At first, he claimed he burned the cash and the drugs -
then he claimed he had used it to buy clothes for his five-year-old
In a letter sent to the judge, McKenzie wrote: "I feel sick to
my stomach that I have done this. I wanted to protect my
"I have never been in trouble before and loved my job as a
prison officer. I had just become a hostage negotiator and wanted
to have a long and prosperous career.
"I will always carry the burden of what I have done. In one way
I have protected my family but in another I have hurt them just as
McKenzie – who turned to selling houses after being kicked out
of the prison service – admitted he should have reported the
pressure he was facing.
He added: "I never wanted to put my colleagues in the prison at
risk or let them down, inside the walls the officers all look out
for each other but I feel that I broke their trust and
Daniel McKenzie was a
guard at HMP Elmley
Ian Foinette, prosecuting, told how the corrupt guard had
been disciplined in January this year for going into a cell alone
But on February 28, he was seen arriving for an early shift at
Elmley "and at the gates he was seen to be adjusting his
The prosecutor said that shortly afterwards he was spotted
breaking prison rules again by going into a cell with two
He was suspended and his home later raided by police officers,
who found cocaine in a wardrobe – which McKenzie admitted supplying
to friends and planning to sell more to others.
Mr Foinette added: "He was interviewed and began by saying he
had been subjected to some pressure by other prisoners but then
admitted that he had been given £500 to take drugs into prison.
"It is unlikely that he would have been given money if he had
subjected to threats."
A judge at Canterbury
Crown Court jailed Daniel McKenzie
Thomas Restell, defending, said McKenzie would face "a
difficult time" inside prison – adding that "Where he will go he
doesn't know but he hopes he won't be sent to Elmley".
The defence barrister said McKenzie's family were standing by
him, adding: "They are supportive, but they don't approve what he
has done. They are shocked and appalled.
"He took cocaine only on three occasions – doing a line each
time. How he got himself involved in this, he can't explain but he
regrets what he has done."
DC James Unwin, from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime
Directorate, said: "McKenzie was put in a position of trust, which
he then abused for his own gain. Those who serve the crown are
expected to carry out their duties with the utmost professionalism
and McKenzie not only failed to do this but also broke the law.
"The substantial sentence imposed by the court reflects the
severity of McKenzie's actions and serves as a reminder of how
important it is for public servants to maintain absolute integrity
in every aspect of their role."
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