A drug dealer who planned to use Kinder Surprise-style containers to smuggle contraband into Leeds Prison has been jailed.
Police found cannabis and legal highs packed into small plastic containers – usually used to carry toys inside chocolate eggs – when they searched Patrick Lock’s home in Whingate Road, Armley, as part of a burglary investigation last year.
They also seized socks and balloons as well as fishing lines and weights – items which are thought to have been intended to launch drugs over the prison walls.
Lock was jailed for four years and six months after admitting burglary and drugs offences at Leeds Crown Court.
Detective Inspector Dave McDougal, of the Leeds district neighbourhood crime team, said: “The supply of drugs into prisons not only impacts negatively on individual prisoners but also on the wider community as offenders are more likely to continue to commit crimes on their release.
“Attempting to smuggle drugs or other contraband, such as mobile phones, into prison is a serious offence that normally carries a significant custodial sentence, as this case has illustrated.”
Police uncovered the smuggling plot after Lock, 22, burgled a home in Helmsley Drive, West Park, in October last year.
He initially escaped the scene by ramming his Ford Focus into a police vehicle, but footprints and analysis of mobile phone use linked him to the break-in and he was arrested the next day.
The drugs were found when police searched his home, along with texts between him and serving prisoners arranging for drugs and mobile phones to be thrown over the wall of the Armley jail the following day.
Neil Richards, deputy director of custody for Yorkshire prisons, said: “Whilst ever drugs are entering prison establishments they undermine all the good work which is taking place to rehabilitate offenders.
“Drugs can lead to violence, debt and intimidation inside prison and obviously make it much harder for offenders to become drug free. We believe that stopping drugs entering prisons, and therefore releasing people who are drug free is an integral strand to cutting crime, reducing reoffending and making communities a safer place, and thereby reducing the number of victims of crime.”