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Kuljit Kaur jailed after packages containing drugs thrown over prison wall

A woman has been jailed for her part in a conspiracy to throw packages containing drugs and mobile phones over a prison wall for inmates.

Kuljit Kaur was said to have been vulnerable and naive, and preyed upon because of her mental health issues.

But a judge said although he accepted she was vulnerable, she was intelligent and had lied during her trial.

Kuljit Kaur outside court. Picture: IKMPIXS
Kuljit Kaur outside court. Picture: IKMPIXS

Sentencing her to 10 months, Judge Philip St John-Stevens said: “It is clear you were a manipulative individual.

"You knew exactly what you were involved in, playing a part so that drugs and mobile phones could be taken into prison.”

Maidstone Crown Court heard police investigated after members of the public reported seeing packages, one similar to a football, being thrown over the high wall at HMP Maidstone.

It resulted in the arrest of 34-year-old Kaur, who it was discovered had driven others to the prison from London at least four times.

"It is clear that the intention was for the prisoners within - who must have known there were packages coming - to collect and either keep them for their own use, or in all likelihood to sell on,” said prosecutor Jonathan Gold.

"It is not surprising to hear that drugs and mobile phones are a lot more valuable inside prison than they are outside.”

Mr Gold said Kuljit Kaur was part of a conspiracy to deliver the illegal items.

Kuljit Kaur outside court. Picture: IKMPIXS
Kuljit Kaur outside court. Picture: IKMPIXS

"Her main role appears to have been the transportation of all the men doing the throwing,” he added.

Kaur, of Roman Road, East Ham, East London, denied two charges of conspiracy to throw a prohibited article into prison between February 15 and March 3 last year, but was convicted by a jury in August.

The packages, one of which was found to have Kaur’s DNA on the internal packaging, contained blocks and wraps of cannabis, phones, headphones and cables.

They were launched over the 20ft high wall of the category C prison on five separate occasions in February and March last year by a man in a hooded tracksuit while Kaur waited in her Vauxhall Corsa nearby.

One package became entangled on the razor wire on the outer wall and another on the roof of the education block.

They contained 28.4g of herbal cannabis, two blocks of a synthetic cannaboid weighing 12.3g and 12.5g and two mobile phones.

Kaur, who works in property management, claimed in evidence she thought the parcels contained items such as hair regrowth products for her inmate friend, convicted drug dealer Munib Riaz, and were simply being handed in by her passenger at the prison visitor centre.

Judge Philip St John-Stevens
Judge Philip St John-Stevens

She also said she believed Riaz was serving his sentence in an immigration detention centre and was, therefore, allowed a mobile phone.

Kaur added that their frequent calls to each other just covered everyday subjects such as X Factor.

Kira Chana, defending, said it had always been her case that she was vulnerable and was preyed upon because of her mental health issues.

She was “targeted, exploited and manipulated” by inmate Riaz.

Kaur suffered from depression and had attempted suicide in 2011. She met Riaz the same year and felt she had a friend she could confide in.

“I still maintain she was anxious to please,” said Miss Chana.

“She said he was the only person she could rely on. She tried to help him in the way he helped her.

"You knew exactly what you were involved in, playing a part so that drugs and mobile phones could be taken into prison" - Judge Philip St John-Stevens

“Her good nature and naivete made her vulnerable. She made no financial gain.

"She suffered financial loss driving to Maidstone from London.”

Miss Chana added that Kaur had employment and was determined to move on with her life and make a fresh start.

“She has learnt her lesson the hard way,” she said.

Judge St John-Stevens said drugs and mobile phones became "currency" in prison, being used to extort and bully.

“Drugs strike at the heart of safety in prison and have an adverse impact in many ways,” he said.

“Those who smuggle drugs into prison must expect deterrent sentences of some length.”

The judge said the powerful mitigation reduced the sentence he would have passed.

But he added: “It is clear you were more involved than you would accept to this jury, playing your part as an intelligent person.”

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