Ex-prison officer jailed for smuggling drugs into husband inmate

HMP Addiewell Prison. Picture:  Lisa Ferguson
HMP Addiewell Prison. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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A WOMAN who quit her prison job to marry an armed robber has been jailed for a year after being caught trying to smuggle drugs to him.

Alison McGuire, 45, stashed a mobile phone and a haul of drugs down her underwear when visiting her husband James in prison.

Mrs McGuire formed a friendship with armed robber McGuire while she worked as a risk co-ordinator at Addiewell Prison in West Lothian.

She resigned from her job in order to continue the relationship and later wed the convict in a ceremony behind bars.

But after he was moved to Shotts maximum security prison in Lanarkshire where he is serving an eight-year sentence, he pressured his new wife to bring him drugs to help pay off drug debts.

She hid a mobile phone, 50 grams of cannabis resin and several banned steroids, but was caught by a sniffer dog and police officers who saw her walking abnormally.

The mum-of-two, of Carluke, Lanarkshire, admitted five charges of bringing banned items into the prison on July 4 this year and yesterday she was jailed for 12 months at Hamilton Sheriff Court.

Diarmid Bruce, defending, said: “She is a woman who has had a decent background but has made some bad judgement calls.

“She was working in Addiewell but left and was married.

“This was not an abusive relationship but a great deal of pressure was unfairly placed on her.

“She was not successful in getting anything into the prison and nothing was passed over.

“She was reluctant but there was a suggestion that her partner was going to be harmed if this was not delivered to the prison.

“She is upset she put herself in this position.”

Fiscal depute Callum Forsyth told the court: “The accused was waiting in a holding area when a sniffer dog called Nelson, who is trained in detecting controlled substances, gave an indication towards her crotch area.

“She was taken to a police station where a body search was carried out which proved negative.

“However, the police remained suspicious due to the abnormal way she was walking.

“She made full admissions to the police and said she was attempting to assist her husband pay off a debt he had accrued while he was a serving prisoner.”

The court heard that the drugs McGuire had hidden had a street value of around £800 but could be sold for up to five times that in prison.

Sheriff David Bicket said: “I have to say that I cannot deal with this case in another way other than a custodial sentence.

“As someone who worked in prisons you are well aware of the kind of offence this was and in all the circumstances a custodial sentence is appropriate for trying to take drugs and a mobile phone into prison.

“It would have been a period of 18 months but I will limit that because of your plea to 12 months given the seriousness of the offence.”