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HMP Swaleside prison officer jailed for drug smuggling

By William Janes

A prison officer has now found himself on the other side of the bars after smuggling drugs to an inmate.

Martin Fazakarley, of Royal Road in Sheerness, was sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court yesterday alongside Madeline Cherry, 28, of York Road, Gravesend, after they both admitted conspiring to sneak prohibited items into HMP Swaleside on the Isle of Sheppey.

The inmate who received the drugs, 36-year-old Kevin Hutchinson-Foster, pleaded guilty to the same offence but will be sentenced later.

Guard Martin Fazakarley will be locked up for almost three years. Picture: Kent Police
Guard Martin Fazakarley will be locked up for almost three years. Picture: Kent Police

The court heard how the racket was exposed in April 2018 when prison staff were searched.

Fazakarley, 44, was on duty at the time and on seeing the searches taking place admitted he was carrying contraband.

He then showed security staff specially-adapted crisp tubes and a drinks bottle that contained cannabis, crack cocaine and tobacco, which he said were intended for Hutchinson-Foster.

Fazakarley was arrested and taken into custody at Medway Police Station.

Madeline Cherry was jailed for 15 months for her part. Picture: Kent Police
Madeline Cherry was jailed for 15 months for her part. Picture: Kent Police

Later that day other prison officers searched Hutchinson-Foster’s cell where they found a mobile phone and a number of drinks cans that had all been modified to hide drugs.

Cherry, who police discovered knew the inmate, was later searched and police seized her phone.

On it they found a video clip of her meeting with Fazakerley and handing over a package.

The pair smuggled drugs into HMP Swaleside on the Isle of Sheppey
The pair smuggled drugs into HMP Swaleside on the Isle of Sheppey

Fazakarley claimed in interview that he did not realise he was carrying crack cocaine and believed the package contained only cannabis.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Simon Mather said: "This was a calculated plot to convey a large quantity of drugs into prison. The estimated street value of the drugs seized is thought to be around £15,000.

"Fazakarley breached the trust placed in him by his employers for his own financial gain and the sentence issued reflects the severity of the crime he has committed."

Cherry was jailed for 15 months while Farakarley has been locked up for two years and eight months.

To read more of our in depth coverage of all of the major trials coming out of crown and magistrates' courts, click here.

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