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Joanne Cochrane of Leydenhatch Lane, Swanley, found guilty of smuggling drugs into prison

A mother-of-three is facing sentence after she was convicted of smuggling drugs and a mobile phone into her son in prison.

Joanne Cochrane claimed she was acting under the duress of threats when she took the banned items into Elmley Prison on the Isle of Sheppey.

But a jury convicted her on Tuesday of two offences of taking the articles into the prison.

Elmley Prison
Elmley Prison

Maidstone Crown Court heard the 53-year-old and her husband David, of Leydenhatch Lane, Swanley, were visiting their son Harry on March 1 last year.

While they were sitting at a table in the visiting hall a prison officer operating CCTV cameras saw Cochrane take a small package from her coat and slide it under a napkin.

Prosecutor Kieran Brand said Cochrane’s son then slipped the package up his sleeve.

The package, wrapped in a latex glove, was found to contain synthetic cannabinoids - a form of cannabis - and a mobile phone.

When arrested, Cochrane claimed she only did it because threats had been made to her son.

She said she had received a phone call saying her son had lost his mobile phone and she would need to take another one to him, or he would get hurt.

She was told it would be left in her letterbox on the day of her visit. She added that the voice was foreign and she struggled to understand it.

Maidstone Crown Court (5846647)
Maidstone Crown Court (5846647)

Cochrane said the package was delivered and she put it in her bra. She went to the toilet at the prison and transferred the package into her pocket, before passing it to her son.

She said she did not know what was in it and that her husband knew nothing about it.

Mr Brand said Cochrane had previous convictions in 2016 for a dog related offence and shoplifting. She was given conditional discharges.

Adjourning sentence for reports until January 11 and granting bail, Judge David Griffith-Jones QC warned she could be jailed.

Harry Cochrane, 21, was jailed for four-and-a-half years in March last year for burgling a farm in St George’s Road, Swanley, and stealing high value cars and a lorry.

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