Eleven charged with supplying prohibited items into prisons

18/05/2017

Eleven people have been charged with conspiring to supply prohibited items into prisons between July 2015 and January 2017.

The charges come after a lengthy investigation by West Mercia Police, in conjunction with HM Prison Service into the supply of drugs, weapons and other prohibited articles into HMP Hewell in Redditch and HMP Birmingham in Winson Green, HMP Stoke Heath in Shropshire and HMP Featherstone in Wolverhampton.

The offences ranged from simple throwing of items into prisons to the sophisticated use of drones to fly items into the prison.

Following close liaison with the Crown Prosecution Service nine men and two women will appear at Birmingham Magistrates Court later this month to face charges relating to the supply of prohibited items into prisons.

Ten people have been charged with five counts of conspiring to supply prohibited items into prisons:

  • Mervyn Foster, aged 37 from High Street, Princes End, Tipton;
  • Yvonne Hay, aged 42 from Bloxwich Road, Walsall;
  • Craig Hickenbottom, aged 34 formerly of HMP Hewell, Redditch;
  • John Hickenbottom, aged 50 formerly of HMP Hewell, Redditch;
  • Lisa Hodgetts, aged 32 from Lye Cross Road, Tividale, Oldbury;
  • Terry Leach, aged 19 from Wednesbury Oak Road, Tipton;
  • John Quinn, aged 35 from Swancroft Road, Tipton;
  • Sanjay Patel, aged 37 of no fixed abode;
  • Ashley Rollinson aged 21 from Highgate Road, Dudley; and
  • Francis Ward, aged 45 from Bloxwich Road, Walsall.

A further man, Artaf Hussain, aged 30, from Slater Street, Tipton, has been charged with one count of conspiring to supply prohibited articles into prisons and possession with intent to supply Class A drugs.

Eran Cutliffe, Senior Crown Prosecutor with the West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service's Complex Casework Unit, said: "I have advised West Mercia Police to charge nine men and two women with various counts of conspiring to convey prohibited articles and conspiring to supply psychoactive substances into a number of prisons in the West Midlands region during the period July 2015 and January 2017. The decision was taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors."

They have all been bailed to appear at Birmingham Magistrates Court on 22 May 2017.