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Man jailed for attempting to smuggle contraband

News   •   Apr 09, 2018 16:46 BST

[Jailed: Joshua Lewis]

A man who attempted to smuggle mobile phones and £23,000 worth of drugs over the perimeter wall at HMP Pentonville has been jailed for a total of 27 months.

Joshua Lewis, 25 (7.02.93) of Cornwall Road, Hornsey was sentenced on Monday, 9 April at Blackfriars Crown Court for the following offences:

- Section 40A Prisons Act 1952 ‘MDMA’
- Section 40A Prisons Act 1952 ‘cocaine’
- Section 40A Prisons Act 1952 ‘cannabis’
- Section 40B Prisons Act 1952 ‘phones’
- Section 40CB Prisons Act 1952 ‘psychoactive substances’

He pleaded guilty to the offences at the same court.

On 13 August 2016, officers from Met’s Caledonian Neighbourhoods Policing Team and the Met’s Special Constabulary were proactively patrolling around HMP Pentonville to catch and deter people from conveying prohibited items into the prison.

Whilst on patrol, officers spotted a string line coming down from within the prison and set up their operation to watch the location.

At around 02:30hrs, officers saw Lewis walking up to the string. Officers moved in to stop him but he managed to escape after a five minute foot chase. During the chase, Lewis dropped two bags containing contraband items and his personal mobile phone.

The bags contained 19 mobile phones, 405.78g of psychoactive substances, 17 MDMA tablets, a total of 86.291g of cannabis and 0.258g of cocaine.

Lewis was identified after DNA was found on his phone and arrest inquiries ensued.

On 28 January 2017, Lewis was arrested in Hackney and subsequently charged with the above offences. He was remanded in custody to appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court the following day.

He was later remanded in custody to appear at Blackfriars Crown Court on 26 February 2017.

Islington’s Neighbourhoods Inspector Steve Murfin, said: “This individual was found to be carrying a substantial amount of controlled drugs and phones. Due to the vigilance of officers, it was prevented from entering the prison. We work closely with the Prison Service to gather intelligence in order to carry out proactive operations to arrest and prosecute those who commit this crime. This was an excellent piece of prolonged problem solving by the officer in this case PC Adam Crossan.”

Prisons Minister Rory Stewart, said: “I am determined to stop drugs being smuggled into our prisons. They are illegal, they fuel violence, undermine our programs of education, and ultimately threaten public safety.

“This is a great example of how we can begin to tackle this problem - good detective work by the Metropolitan Police leading to a major seizure of cocaine, illegal phones and psychoactive drugs.

“We owe the police a great debt of thanks and we will continue to crack down on any attempts to get drugs into prison by any methods. This is a top priority for me as Prisons Minister.”