Leeds criminal pretended to be an actor as he fled to France to avoid major prison drug dealing conspiracy linked to Armley Jail

A drug dealer from Leeds was arrested in France after fleeing the UK by pretending to be an actor after he was involved in a major prison drug supply conspiracy.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 11:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 12:12 pm

Patrick Lock came to the attention of police officers as he was about to cross the Channel with a large amount of cash.

The career criminal claimed he was an actor heading for the Continent to take part in a production in France.

He was allowed to board a ferry but was detained by French authorities.

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Patrick Lock tried to flee the UK to avoid prison drug supply conspiracy.

Leeds Crown Court head Lock had been attempting to get out of the country to avoid drug conspiracy charges linked to his time in prison.

The 28-year-old was a leading player in the conspiracy which involved prison inmates, friends and relatives who delivered drugs and contraband items to them during visits.

The drugs would then be sold on at inflated prices within the prison environment.

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Instead, money transfers were made by relatives of inmates purchasing the drugs to the relatives of those involved in the conspiracy.

Lock, of Shakespeare Lawn, Burmantofts, Leeds, was jailed for four years and three months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to convey list A articles into prison and a further count of failing to surrender.

The conspiracy offences took place between August 2014 and October 2016 while Lock was a serving prisoner at HMP Leeds, HMP Lindholme, near Doncaster, and HMP Ranby, in Nottinghamshire.

Gerald Hendron, prosecuting, said Lock initially acted alone but joined forces with two other inmates he met while at HMP Lindholme.

One of the other prisoners was described as the ringleader of the conspiracy.

Lock then took over the operation after the inmate was released from prison in 2016.

Heroin, cocaine, cannabis and steroids were seized from prison cells on a number occasions.

One one occasion Malteser packets were seized in prison and found to contain 22 packets of drugs.

Two of the packets contained heroin which had a street value of £600 but was worth up to £2,900 in prison.

Mr Hendron said: "It is a feature of this case that the supply of class A drugs and class B drugs have a markedly higher monetary value than the same illicit drugs in general society."

Lock's cell was searched while he was at HMP Ranby and drugs, scales and a mobile phone were recovered.

Officers also found chocolate eclair sweets which contained class C drugs including steroids and painkillers.

More drugs were recovered from his cell when he was later transferred to HMP Leeds.

He made the attempt to flee the country after being released from his sentence but was then faced with the conspiracy charges.

Lock appeared in court via a video link from HMP Hull.

Paul Hodgkinson, mitigating, said Lock pleaded guilty to the offence at an early stage and wished to apologise for what he had done.

Mr Hodgkinson said Lock was aged 22 when the conspiracy started.

The barrister said his client has matured and has a partner and children.

Jailing Lock, Judge Robin Mairs said: "You were committed to this conspiracy and committed to the supply of drugs in prison.

"You played a leading role for considerable economic benefit for a considerable period of time.

"This was professional crime."

Fiona Gallagher, 30, of Whitehall Green, Wortley, also appeared in court after pleading guilty to acquiring criminal property.

Mr Hendron said Gallagher was the girlfriend of another member of the conspiracy and received payments for drugs from bank branches across the country.

Gallagher pleaded guilty on the basis that she had received £15,985.

Mark Foley, mitigating, said Gallagher had been put under pressure to receive the money and did not profit greatly from her offending.

Gallagher was given a 12-month sentence, suspended for two years.

She was also ordered to do 130 hours of unpaid work.

Three other men involved in the conspiracy received jailed sentences last month. Another defendant is to be sentenced in October.