Prison officer admits having had relationship with jailed gangster
A PRISON officer in the UK has been warned she faces being jailed after admitting having a relationship with infamous gangster Curtis Warren – who is behind bars for a plot to flood Jersey’s streets with cannabis.
Stephanie Smithwhite (40) worked at HMP Frankland, near Durham, where Warren was serving time. She recently appeared at Durham Crown Court and admitted two counts of misconduct in a public office.
The court heard the first charge related to a sexual relationship with the 57-year-old gangster, nicknamed ‘Cocky’. The second count related to the defendant not saying she knew that Warren had an illegal phone inside the prison. It was understood the tiny handset was a so-called ‘prison phone’ little bigger than a £2 coin.
Liverpool-born Warren, once one of Interpol’s most wanted criminals, was jailed for 13 years in 2009 after Jersey officers bugged a hire car he was travelling in across Europe.
And it is not the first time Warren has allegedly had a relationship with a member of prison staff. While on remand in Jersey in 2007, the Liverpudlian former bouncer, who once topped the Sunday Times Rich List, is said to have had an affair with a former senior manager at HMP La Moye, Teresa Rodrigues.
Ms Rodrigues told the Daily Mail that the relationship lasted two years until 2009 and they had sex in his cell ‘most days’.
Following the claims, then Home Affairs Minister Ian Le Marquand said in the States that he found the allegations hard to believe.
Smithwhite, who is from Boldon Colliery, South Tyneside, is due to be sentenced on 7 February. She was released on bail following the hearing.
Judge Jonathan Carroll told her: ‘You have pleaded guilty to these two serious offences. You understand, I am certain, how serious they are.
‘The overwhelming likelihood this will be followed by an immediate custodial sentence.
‘Your background should be fully investigated before I pass sentence. You should understand the purpose is to assist me with the length rather than the type of disposal.’
Earlier in the hearing, the judge said: ‘The level of the breach of trust in a case like this is profound.’
In 2011 Warren appealed against his sentence handed down in Jersey on the grounds that the evidence against him had been obtained unlawfully. However, his conviction was upheld by the UK Privy Council. He then appealed to the Lieutenant-Governor to resend the case to the Court of Appeal, but was unsuccessful. Under Jersey law the Lieutenant-Governor has the power to refer cases to the Court of Appeal ‘if he sees fit’.
In 2014 Warren learned he faced another ten years in jail after refusing to hand over almost £200 million to the authorities.
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