Prison drug smugglers used Marmite to disguise pungent cannabis aroma
PUBLISHED: 12:28 27 November 2014 | UPDATED: 12:28 27 November 2014
Marmite was smeared onto packaging containing cannabis in an attempt to disguise its pungent smell as it was smuggled into Wormwood Scrubs prison with the help of a "corrupt" prison worker.
Marmite was smeared onto packaging containing cannabis in an attempt to disguise its pungent smell as it was smuggled into Wormwood Scrubs prison with the help of a “corrupt” prison worker.
Prison officers, suspicious of the strange aroma, opened the packaging to find cannabis resin, heroin, herbal cannabis, two mobile phones, cannabis grinders and some of the legal high ‘spice’ in February.
The package, was sent via Royal Mail and addressed to the prison teacher, Niyi Onilude, 54 of Stoke Newington Church Street.
He was arrested at work later that day and admitted accepting packages containing drugs on behalf of inmate Shaun Barnabie.
A police investigation revealed Barnabie’s girlfriend Parice Lewis, wrapped and prepared the packages which she sent via Special Delivery.
They were then signed for by Onilude, and he passed them on to Barnabie during class.
Police believe several packages were sent in this way before the conspiracy was rumbled.
Barnabie tried to contact with Lewis via the prison telephone system instructing her to dispose of her mobile phone once he realised police were onto the scam.
Lewis allowed two of her bank accounts to be used to facilitate the payment of drugs and phones sold within the prison, and incriminating Whatsapp messages were found on her mobile phone bragging about the criminal enterprise she was running with Barnabie.
All three pleaded guilty and were sentenced on Wednesday at Southwark Crown Court.
DC Lorraine Simpson of the London prison anti-corruption team, said: “This sentence reflects the serious nature and the harm caused by the corrupt activity of prison employees.
“We are committed to ensuring that those involved in trafficking drugs and mobile phones into prisons, along with any employee in an inappropriate relationship with a prisoner will be brought to justice.”
Onilude was sentenced to two and a half years for conspiracy to convey a prohibited article into a prison, and Parice Lewis, 23 of Harwoods Road, Watford was sentenced to 18 months for the same offence.
Shaun Barnabie, 32, of HMP Wandsworth was sentenced to five and a half years for conspiracy to convey class A and B drugs into a prison. He also received five and a half years for money laundering, 18 months for conspiracy to convey a mobile phone into a prison and eight months for perverting the course of justice, to run concurrently with the first count.