Two men jailed for conspiracy to smuggle prohibited items into prison
Two men, a prison officer and a serving prisoner, have been jailed today (30 January 2023) at Winchester Crown Court for smuggling steroids and mobile phones into HMP Winchester.
Christopher Harman, 32, and Liam Currell, 31, both pleaded guilty to two offences of conspiracy to convey prohibited items into the prison after they were caught as part of a police investigation.
A third defendant, Stephanie Burt, 30, also admitted her part in both conspiracies and was sentenced today.
The quantity of mobile phones and steroids found after repeated cell searches raised the suspicion that they must have been brought into the prison by an individual.
After a significant investigation, it was discovered that serving prisoner, Liam Currell, had arranged with Stephanie Burt that she would source mobile phones and steroids, which she then gave to prison officer, Christopher Harman, to smuggle into the prison when he was working on duty.
Christopher Harman delivered the items to Liam Currell, who went on to sell them to other prisoners for use in the prison.
Harman, having significantly abused the trust afforded to him as a prison officer, was sentenced to 16 months’ imprisonment.
Currell was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment, which he will serve consecutively to the jail term he is already serving.
Burt received a 16 month suspended sentence, and will have to undertake 20 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days and 200 hours unpaid work.
Tracy Harris, CPS Wessex Senior Crown Prosecutor, said: “The police found receipts for the purchase of mobile phones when they searched Burt’s home, as well as steroids and related paraphernalia in both her property and Harman’s home.
“This evidence, pieced together with extensive mobile phone analysis and CCTV, made it clear that these three were responsible for the items entering the prison environment and secured their guilty pleas in the face of the overwhelming evidence against them.
“It is damaging to public confidence when a prison officer, or any other public servant, commits a criminal offence. The CPS ensures that all offenders are prosecuted and brought to justice, whenever our legal test is met.”
Notes to editors
- Christopher Harman DOB 8/6/1986 and from Alton
- Liam Currell DOB 13/4/1991 - he is serving a four year prison term (plus two years on licence) for unrelated offences
- Stephanie Burt DOB 17/2/1992 and from Poole