Corrupt prison officer jailed

Police today pledged to crack down on corrupt prison officers after a male officer was jailed for smuggling drugs to inmates.

Richard Carew, 34, "abused his position of authority" by taking cannabis and mobile phones into Pentonville Prison inside hidden compartments in clocks and cans of drink, Scotland Yard said.

The former officer at the north London prison was jailed for five years at Southwark Crown Court yesterday, a police spokesman said.

Acting Detective Inspector Neil Smithson, of the London Prisons Anti-Corruption Team, 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."

Carew was arrested at his home in Celt Close, Sittingbourne, Kent, in June last year. Officers found 12 mobile phones ready to be smuggled into the prison and while looking at his computer they discovered that he had searched on the internet for 'hidden compartment hideaway wall clock', 'hidden compartment walking shoes' and 'diet coke can safe - stash tin'.

In December, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class B drugs, conspiracy to take mobile phones into prison, unauthorised electronic communication from within a prison and conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office.