Couple accused of trying to smuggle contraband into prison

Jerome Francis has be acquitted at Luton Crown Court

Jerome Francis has be acquitted at Luton Crown Court - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

A Queen’s Park woman and her prisoner husband plotted to smuggle alcohol, heroin, cannabis and mobile phones into a jail in Hemel Hempstead, a court heard.

Luton Crown Court were told Pattrina Stevenson-Francis, of Third Avenue, was traced through a receipt found in the bag of ‘Aladdin’s cave of goodies’ discovered hanging outside The Mount Prison by officers.

Jurors heard when officers investigated further they discovered her husband, Jerome Francis was a serving prisoner.

Prosecutor Robin Miric said the bag was an Aladdin’s cave of goodies and was discovered hanging from a tree close to the prison’s outer fence on April 3 last year.

He said: “No doubt the person had intended to throw it over at the appropriate moment so that an inmate would be able to sneak under the inner fence and take the package back inside.”

He told the court when police examined the contents of the drawstring carrier bag with the letters C E X across it, they found plastic bottles containing alcohol, cannabis in the form of skunk, resin and herbal, a small amount of heroin and nine mobile phones.

There was also a small amount of a Class B drug, meow meow.

Most Read

All are banned from prison and could be used as ‘currency’ by inmates.

The court heard a man who had made off in the direction of Chesham Road in Bovingdon, aroused the suspicions of two off duty police officers who were out for a bike ride.

Not long afterwards they saw him getting into a taxi cab and a woman was inside as well.

Jurors heard that a receipt for one of the mobile phones which had come from a branch of C E X in Kilburn High Road was found in the bag which was traced back to Stevenson-Francis.

Close to the store police officers discovered the taxi firm whose vehicle the two off duty officers had seen the man and woman in and further enquiries revealed Stevenson-Francis had booked a car with them on April 3 at 8.3oam.

Mr Miric told the court the day after the bag had been found a man returned to the cab company claiming he thought he had left something inside a vehicle.

He was arrested and subsequently admitted his involvement.

Stevenson-Francis and Francis of Hill Top Avenue, Wembley, who are both 33, deny conspiring together and with others to supply a Class A drug.

Francis also denies conspiring to supply a drug of Class B and a charge of conspiring to convey prohibited items into the jail.

The trial continues.