Prison officer smuggled drugs into prison for organised crime group

A prison officer who smuggled drugs and mobile phones into HMP Leeds for an organised crime group has been jailed for more than three-and-a-half-years.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 10:10 am

Two serving prisoners and their now ex-girlfriends were also handed jail sentences for their part in the conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office.

Leeds Crown Court heard prison officer Daniel Annakin's wife Joanna Annakin admitted conspiring to supply cannabis that he told her had been seized at the jail in Armley.

Katherine Robinson, prosecuting, said the main aim of the conspiracy was for contraband including phones, steroids, and other controlled drugs to be brought into HMP Leeds by prison officer Daniel Annakin.

IN COURT: (top l-r)) Dane Jones, Kirsten Barker and Sophie Jaimeson. And (bottom l-r) Danie Annakin and Michael Gardiner.

Extensive mobile phone evidence showed contact between the defendants and between Daniel Annakin and members of a Wakefield-based organised crime group involved in the supply of heroin and cocaine.

Miss Robinson said Annakin, 33, had two meetings outside the jail with prisoners' girlfriends Kirsten Barker, 30, and Sophie Jamieson, 30.

The court heard Annakin was given packages to later deliver to the two prisoners at HMP Leeds,.

The meetings took place on October 7 2017 at Ferrybridge services near Pontefract and on October 13 2017 in the car park outside the B&M store in Armley.

At the time, prisoners Michael Gardiner, 33, and Dane Jones, also 33, shared a cell at HMP Leeds.

Miss Robinson said a member of staff at HMP Leeds became suspicious after spotting Daniel Annakin carrying a bag while he was leaving Gardiner and Jones's cell on October 15 2017.

The cell was searched and Gardiner tried to hide a mobile phone in his underwear.

The mobile phone was recovered along with needles and syringes and tablets, which were later found not to be controlled drugs.

Three days later the cell was searched again and more items, which had been hidden in the cell, were found - a phone, phone charger and 81 steroid tablets.

Cocaine user Daniel Annakin was arrested when he went to work at HMP Leeds on October 16 and his car was searched.

Officers seized a mobile phone, a carrier bag containing vials and three 150ml bottles of class C drug steroids plus a carrier bag containing steroids,.

She said between October 6 and 15 2017 Annakin was in contact with a mobile phone number which shows him arranging to bring items into prison with a text that read - "'coke' and 8z bud that brown i phone 2 bottles juice all the white tabs from other day an that boost bottle."

Miss Robinson said: "He is seemingly paid with cocaine and is offered money instead when he states 'no mate not doing it anymore.. tomorrow last one."

Miss Robinson said Annakin admitted collecting more packages containing drugs and other prohibited items but said he only ever took three into prison.

Miss Robinson said: "The other packages he threw away because they contained a drug which is a heroin substitute and has killed people."

The court heard on September 20 2017 Annakin had been seen getting into a Ford Mondeo on Chevet Lane, Wakefield, to meet a drug dealer.

Miss Robinson said Annakin was carrying a large white plastic bag containing what the prosecution say was cannabis when he arrived home.

Miss Robinson said a text conversation recovered from Annakin's phone shows another man later went to Annakin's address to get a sample of the cannabis.

She said Annakin's then partner now ex-wife Joanna, 34, sent a text message to a friend saying Annakin had caught a visitor coming out of prison with a "massive stash" of weed and she asked the friend if they knew anyone who smoked it.

The court heard there were no records of Annakin having worked in the HMP Leeds visitor centre in September 2017.

Daniel Annakin, of Newland Court, Wakefield, admitted conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office and conspiracy to supply class B drug cannabis.

Kirsten Barker, of Hazel Road, Knottingley; Sophie Jamieson, of Simpsons Lane, Knottingley, Michael Gardiner of HMP Lowdham, Nottinghamshire, and Dane Jones of no fixed abode all admitted conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office.

Joanna Annakin, of Newland Court, Wakefield, admitted conspiracy to supply class B drug cannabis.

Ben Campbell, for dad of two Daniel Annakin, said: "He was a cocaine user himself at this stage.

"He was a naive and junior prison officer having only joined in the January of that year."

Mr Campbell said Annakin feels "a great deal of shame."

Giles Grant, mitigating for Michael Gardiner, said his existing sentence is due to end in October 2023, adding: He bitterly regrets getting his partner involved."

Mr Grant said Gardiner is now separated from Kirsten Barker.

Michael Collins for Dane Jones, said his existing sentence is due to run to August 2024, adding: "He did not organise, he did not control and his conduct should be seen as that of a user rather than an organiser."

Stephen Swan, for Kirsten Barker, said: "The arrangements were made for her. She acted on instructions.

"Her motivation ws not for financial gain but out of misguided loyalty to ex partner Michael Gardiner."

Christopher Morton for Sophie Jamieson, said: "Her relationship with Dane Jones has come to an end. She described it as an abusive relationship."

Mr Morton added: "The defendant was under a degree of emotional pressure."

James Gelsthorpe for Joanna Annakin, said she is the sole carer for her four year old son, adding: "She has separated from Daniel Annakin."

Michael Collins for Dane Jones, said his client said he had bought the phone in prison.

Judge Robin Mairs jailed Daniel Annakin for three years and nine months; Michael Gardiner was jailed for two years and eight months; Dane Jones for three years; Kirsten Barker for one year and eight months and Sophie Jamieson for one year and eight months.

Joana Annakin was handed a six month jail sentence, suspended for two years and told to do 250 hours unpaid work.