Warder gets 4½ years for smuggling drugs and mobiles into Addiewell jail
A PRISON officer who for three months smuggled drugs and mobile phones into a Scottish prison has been jailed.
Garry McDonald, 33, was caught bringing a mobile phone into Addiewell Prison during a routine check by sniffer dogs when he turned up late for work.
When questioned, McDonald, from Falkirk, admitted bringing it in for a prisoner.
Asked if he had brought other items including drugs into Addiewell, he confirmed he had.
McDonald said that he had, on occasions, brought in parcels containing both controlled drugs and mobile phones.
He claimed he had been put under pressure by a prisoner
to bring these items in, but did not explain the nature of the pressure.
During the interview, McDonald was asked if he had anything else on him and produced two drugs packages from his boxer shorts.
Yesterday at the High Court in Glasgow, McDonald admitted being concerned in the supply of cocaine, heroin, diazepam, cannabis and cannabis resin between 1 July and 21 September last year.
Jailing him for four and a half years, judge Lord Bracadale told McDonald he had committed a “gross breach of trust”.
He said that, but for his early guilty plea, the sentence would have been one of six years.
Lord Bracadale added: “Disastrously, you used your position as a prison officer to bring mobile phones and drugs into this jail. The misuse of drugs in prison is a serious matter.”
The court heard that a search of McDonald’s bedroom revealed £2,960 in cash, four mobile phones in cling-film and 59 wraps of cannabis resin.
McDonald told police that he was asked to bring mobile phones and drugs to the prison by a passman – a prisoner with privileges.
He claimed that this prisoner had got hold of his mobile phone number and McDonald feared he would be sacked if his bosses found out.
McDonald told detectives he was under duress to provide the packages, but could not provide any evidence of threats of harm.
He said he was given packages on five occasions, but said it was only in the last week that he was asked to bring in what he assumed was drugs.
He said he was paid a total of £3,100.
The potential street value of the drugs recovered was £23,750.
Procurator fiscal Michelle MacLeod, said: “Garry McDonald was smuggling drugs into the prison where he worked over a six-month period, being paid thousands of pounds to do so.
“He was in a position of trust which he abused, jeopardising not only his job but his freedom, to make some extra cash.
“Prosecutors will continue to take a robust approach to anyone who involves themselves in the drugs trade.”
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