Tyne & Wear

HMP Frankland: Prison officer had affair with Curtis Warren

Frankland Prison, Durham Image copyright Google
Image caption The sexual relationship, at HMP Frankland, was said to have lasted between June and December 2018

An officer at a top security prison who had an affair with an inmate has been warned she faces a jail term.

Stephanie Smithwhite had a relationship with drug dealer Curtis Warren while at HMP Frankland near Durham.

Appearing at Durham Crown Court, 40-year-old Smithwhite, from Boldon Colliery, admitted two counts of misconduct in public office.

Judge Jonathan Carroll described it as a "profound breach of trust" and bailed her until sentencing on 7 February.

The first misconduct charge related to the sexual relationship, said to have lasted between June and December 2018, and the second to her not reporting Warren had access to a smuggled phone.

Image copyright States of Jersey Police
Image caption Curtis Warren was one of the UKs biggest drug dealers and even made it into the Sunday Times Rich List in the 1990s

The judge said: "You have pleaded guilty to these two serious offences, you understand, I am certain, how serious they are.

"The overwhelming likelihood this will be followed by an immediate custodial sentence.

"Your background should be fully investigated before I pass sentence, you should understand the purpose is to assist me with the length rather than the type of disposal."

Liverpool-born Warren was jailed in the Netherlands in 1996 for a plan to import cocaine hidden in lead ingots.

After his release he was jailed for 13 years in 2009 for plotting to import cannabis into Jersey, and then handed 10 more after failing to abide by a £198m confiscation order.

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