Prison drug smugglers warned by Lord Judge
- 15 June 2011
- From the section UK
Anyone caught smuggling drugs into prison should face longer "deterrent" sentences, the country's most senior judge has said.
The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, issued the warning as he added three years to a jail term of a man convicted of bringing drugs into a prison.
Daniel Kavanagh, 23, from Manchester, brought in class-A and class-C drugs while visiting an inmate at HMP Garth.
Lord Judge said the original 12-month sentence had been "unduly lenient".
Kavanagh pleaded guilty to two counts of smuggling prohibited articles into a prison, at Preston Crown Court in April - but his sentence was challenged by the Solicitor General, Edward Garnier QC.
And Lord Judge, sitting at the Court of Appeal in London with two other judges on Wednesday, ruled it had been "significantly too lenient".
Lord Judge said: "The offender was bringing hard and soft drugs into prison for disposal and consumption among inmates."
He said drugs in prisons had "the potential greatly to increase the difficulties of maintaining a safe environment, both for staff and indeed for the inmates themselves".
"Deterrent sentences are therefore appropriate," he added.
Kavanagh was caught last July after prison staff noticed he appeared nervous, looking up at CCTV cameras in the visitor area.
Asked to produce what he was carrying, Kavanagh pulled out of his trousers a package containing light brown powder and tablets.
The drugs had an average street value of £1,500, but in the prison their value would have been about £6,000.