Home UK News Nurse Hatfield ‘tried smuggling £1m of drugs into prison’

Nurse Hatfield ‘tried smuggling £1m of drugs into prison’

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Amy Hatfield

Amy Hatfield told South Yorkshire Police Detective Constable Scott Jarvis that she had “some stuff” on her at the time of her detention at HMP Lindholme, near Doncaster. When officers began examining her possessions, they discovered cannabis wraps, tobacco, anabolic steroids, liquid containers, MDMA, cell phones, and chargers. She also possessed a number of bottles of Ribena, which contained a liquid form of the drug spice.

Detective Sergeant Gareth Gent, head of the Prison Anti-Corruption Unit, said: “The prison value of the liquid spice recovered from Hatfield that morning was estimated by prison experts to be around £1 million.

“That quantity of drugs found on one person going into the prison was undoubtedly shocking and set alarm bells ringing that this was part of something much bigger. As we started to dig into Hatfield’s associates and connections, little did we know that we would uncover such large-scale criminality.”

By probing Hatfield’s phones, movements, and bank accounts, a number of her associates were identified, apprehended, and charged with various crimes relating to the smuggling of drugs and phones into prisons for large quantities of money. The total prison value of drugs seized during the nearly four-year investigation exceeded £1 million.

Thursday, April 27, the conclusion of a 19-week trial at Sheffield Crown Court marked the culmination of more than four years of work by South Yorkshire Police. Paul Whittingham, 58, of Halifax Road, Bradford, was found guilty of money laundering and was the last member of the criminal group to be prosecuted.

DS Gent added: “Yesterday marked the culmination of a four-year investigation into one of the most significant and complex prison conspiracies in the country, unravelling a network of criminals both in and out of the prison system working to smuggle dangerous and illegal substances into custody for money.

“Our investigation began back in October 2019, after we received information that drugs and other unlawful items including lock knives were being smuggled into HMP Lindholme. We attended at the prison and arrested a mental health nurse as she arrived for her shift and what we found led to the unravelling of this group’s criminal enterprise.”

Paul Whittingham
Paul Whittingham

“The amount of work that has gone into building this complex case to present to the courts is considerable. I want to recognise the dedication and patience of the jury throughout this lengthy trial process, which has taken nearly five months. I am indebted to the investigation team, in particular the officer in the case DC Jarvis, who has worked so hard to gather evidence against those involved, and to the specialists who have provided their knowledge and experience.”

“As a result of our tireless determination to uncover this criminal network, we have disrupted and dismantled an incredibly dangerous drugs operation that posed a significant risk to the prison population, it’s staff and the wider community.”

The jury found Whittingham not guilty of conspiracy to distribute Class B drugs, conspiracy to transport List A items (drugs) into prison, and conspiracy to transport List B items (cell phones).

The following defendants entered guilty pleas during previous court proceedings. Their names, ages, addresses, and accepted offences are listed below.

Amy Hatfield, 37, of HMP Newhall, pled guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, conspiracy to supply Class B drugs, two counts of conspiracy to transport List A items into prison (drugs and blades), conspiracy to transport List B items into prison (cell phones), and money laundering.

Audrey Needham, 56, of Comfrey Close, Nottingham, pleaded guilty to money laundering and conspiracy to distribute Class B drugs.

36-year-old Bradford resident Lucy Whittingham pled guilty to money laundering.

William Francis, 56, of Hogan Gardens, Nottingham, pled guilty to possession with the intent to distribute Class A drugs (heroin), possession with the intent to distribute Class B drugs (spice and hashish), and conspiracy to transport List A items (drugs) into prison.

Aneeze Williamson, age 29, of HMP Leeds, pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute Class B drugs and conspiracy to transport List B items (cell phones) into a prison.

Natalie Williamson, 35, of West Royd Drive, Shipley, pleaded guilty to money laundering and involvement in the distribution of Class B substances.

Lydia Pinnington, 22 years old, of Clieves Road, Liverpool, pled guilty to money laundering offences. She testified alongside Paul Whittingham on charges of conspiracy to transport List A items (drugs) and List B items (cell phones) into a prison. She was determined to be innocent of the allegations.

Joseph Whittingham, 34, of HMP Leeds, pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute Class B narcotics, two charges of conspiracy to transport List A items (drugs and weapons) into prison, and conspiracy to transport List B items (cell phones).

Jordan Needham, 30 years old, of HMP Dovegate, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, conspiracy to supply Class B drugs, conspiracy to transport List A items (drugs) into prison, and conspiracy to transport List B items (cell phones).

Courtney Ward, 26, from Rose Ash Lane, Nottingham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute Class A and Class B substances.

Deborah Stoddard, 56, of Shorefields Village, Liverpool, pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute Class B drugs, two counts of conspiracy to transport List A items (drugs and blades) into prison, conspiracy to transport List B items (cell phones), and money laundering.

Anthony Campbell, 37, of HMP Dovegate, pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute Class B drugs, conspiracy to transport List A items (drugs) into prison, and conspiracy to transport List B items (cell phones).

Kora Haley, 30, of Holme Lane, Bradford, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute Class B drugs, conspiracy to transport List B items (telephones) into a correctional facility, and money laundering.

Lee Holmes, 44, of Sylvia Terrace, Stanley, pleaded guilty to money laundering and conspiracy to distribute Class B narcotics.

Leighton Kemp, 27, of Erewash Gardens, Nottingham, pled guilty to conspiracy to supply Class B drugs, conspiracy to transport List A items (drugs) into prison, conspiracy to transport List B items (mobile phones), and money laundering.

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