Rainham woman helped warden boyfriend in prison drug smuggling plot

A 25-year-old Rainham woman helped her crooked prisone guard boyfriend and convicts flood Pentonville Prison with drugs and mobile phones, a court heard.

Unemployed Leanne Angel, from Rainham Road, admitted her part in the plot, which saw warden Richard Carew, 34 - formerly of Hornchurch but now Kent - team up with inmate James Mansbridge, 36, to smuggle mobile phones, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia into the north London prison.

The contraband was concealed by Carew in household items such as wall clocks and coke cans, and then circulated around the prison by Mansbridge and his cellmate Peter Henderson, 33.

More than a kilo of cannabis was recovered from Pentonville, but police believe Carew smuggled in much more.

Angel, and Mansbridge’s girlfriend Samantha Patten, 25, from Dagenham, east London, were the financial linchpins in the con, filtering �17,000 from drugs payments through their bank accounts.

Carew was jailed for five years and Mansbridge for four at Southwark Crown Court last Friday, after they both admitted their roles in the smuggling gang.

Acting Det Insp Neil Smithson said: “Carew abused his position of authority in a prison and assisted in setting up a drug dealing gang with willing participants both inside and outside the cells. We take this kind of misconduct very seriously and will always seek to prosecute anyone who attempts to exploit the prison service in this way. As the Judge in this case said, Carew committed a gross breach of trust.”

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Last February Angel was arrested at her home, where officers seized two mobile phones containing numbers for both Henderson and Mansbridge.

She was charged with one count of concealing criminal property and one count of money laundering.

She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 51 weeks suspended for 18 months.

She was also ordered to complete 100 hours of community service.

Patten admited her part, and was sentenced to six months suspended for 18 months and was also given a curfew order

Henderson pleaded guilty to a string of counts, as well as an earlier violent cash-in-transit robbery and was sentenced to six years in prison.

Another prisoner, Alan Merry, 24, was found guilty on May 16 of conspiracy to supply class B drugs and was sentenced to nine months in prison.