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Friday, 25 April 2014

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Driver cleared of smuggling drugs to Haverigg jail

AN orange was thrown over a prison fence as a signal that a package of drugs, mobile phones and SIM cards were on their way over, a court heard.

But the man who threw the items at Haverigg prison was spotted by prison officers checking CCTV cameras.

Nine class C tablets used to treat opiate addiction, plus three mobile phones and SIM cards were found during a search of the grounds.

The man who threw the items over the fence admitted his part in what took place, but a friend who drove him to the area and parked on the prison car park was yesterday cleared of being involved.

James Watson, 45, of Wastwater Avenue, Workington, Cumbria, denied two charges of conveying a listed article into prison.

He was found not guilty following a one-day trial at Preston Crown Court.

His friend, James Dryden, 49, of Castlerigg Close, from Whitehaven, admitted the two charges at an earlier hearing and will be sentenced at a later date.

The case related to events at Haverigg prison on March 29 last year.

Mr Paul O’Brien, prosecuting, told the jury James Watson took his wife’s VW Golf vehicle and drove to the prison, with Dryden as his passenger.

Dryden got out, approached the fence and was spotted by prison officers who were monitoring CCTV cameras.

They saw him glance around before throwing something over the fence.

A second item was also thrown over the fence, before he went out of the view of the camera.

The Golf was driven away, but was stopped by police. The package in the prison grounds contained nine buprenorphine tablets, as well as the other items. Mr O’Brien told the jury: “The prosecution say the orange was thrown over as a marker.”

The defendant described being stopped by police as “the shock of his life”.

In his evidence to the jury, Mr Watson said Dryden asked for lift to a Millom scrapyard, to pick up a cylinder head.

During the journey, Dryden asked him to stop to try to get a signal on his mobile phone.

At one stage, his companion got out of the vehicle because he wanted to relieve himself.

“I couldn’t see him when he got out,” the defendant told the court.

“He seemed to be gone like an eternity.

“When he came back he looked hot, bothered. There was something not quite right. I had a feeling in my stomach.

“I played hell with him,” he said.

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