A PRISON stores man who smuggled four parcels into HMP Haverigg has been jailed for 16 months.

Craig Eaton, 44, worked at the prison between 2015 and 2019 and had access to restricted areas as part of his role.

In 2018 he took a period of time off work following the breakdown of his marriage and the unexpected death of his father.

But when he returned to work he was befriended by a prisoner who was also working in the stores.

In December the prisoner offered Eaton £900 to bring a parcel of tobacco into the jail.

Eaton initially refused but later decided the money would be useful for Christmas.

He agreed to meet a man in the Tesco car park in Millom where he was given the package.

He took it to the prison and delivered it to the prisoner.

A court heard in January he was offered £450 to bring a second package in, containing tobacco and mobile phones.

He agreed to take a third package at the end of January containing phones, chargers and tobacco and a fourth in February containing syringes for steroid use for £300.

But when he was asked to bring in a load of gym vests he refused and said he would not bring any more parcels into the prison.

On March 14, prison governor Paul Fisher conducted a search of Eaton’s trolley after receiving information which caused him concern.

Eaton, of Mulcaster Crescent, Carlisle, confessed he had accepted money to bring mobile phones and tobacco into the prison and said once he had done it once he was afraid he would be reported if he did not do it again.

He pleaded guilty to misconduct in a public office and appeared at Preston Crown Court to be sentenced.

Recorder Alex Leach said: “You began to feel uncomfortable but you were never threatened.

“It is clear a great deal of trust was invested in you.

“You were trusted and you were warned about the dangers of corruption.

“You fuelled a black market allowing some people to profit while others fell into debt.”

Recorder Leach accepted the defendant had not conveyed drugs into prison.

But he said: “Many who supply illicit substances into prison may not fully understand the potential impact of their behaviour and may be subject to emotional pressure or physical threat.

“You knew what you were doing and your only motivation was financial gain.”

He added taking mobile phones into prison facilitates the supply of drugs which undermine discipline and order.

The judge accepted Eaton was genuinely remorseful and committed the offences at a time when he was vulnerable.

But he told him: “These offences are so serious only a custodial sentence can be justified.”