Hitchin woman given suspended sentence after smuggling drugs to friend in prison

PUBLISHED: 10:37 20 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:53 21 August 2019

CCTV footage showed Darius Gumede holding the drugs in his right hand, before concealing them. Picture: Cambs police

CCTV footage showed Darius Gumede holding the drugs in his right hand, before concealing them. Picture: Cambs police

Archant

A Hitchin woman who smuggled a wrap of cannabis to a friend while she visited him in prison has been given a suspended sentence.

CCTV footage showed Karen James smuggling a wrap of cannabis to Darius Gumede in Peterborough prison. Picture: Cambs policeCCTV footage showed Karen James smuggling a wrap of cannabis to Darius Gumede in Peterborough prison. Picture: Cambs police

Karen James, 51, was seen acting suspiciously on CCTV by a member of prison staff at HMP Peterborough at about 6.30pm on November 19.

She was sat down with friend Darius Gumede in the visiting hall when she put her hand up her sleeve, took something out and passed it to him.

A prison officer ran into the visiting hall after being alerted through radio by CCTV staff.

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Gumede was searched and a 28g wrap of cannabis was found in his boxer shorts.

James - of Sanfoine Close in Hitchin - denied responsibility, claiming she would never take drugs into prison and was in fact anti-drugs.

However at Peterborough Crown Court on June 7 she pleaded guilty to conveying a 'list A article' into prison. At the same court yesterday she was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for 18 months, and 120 hours of unpaid work.

Sergeant Steph Parker from Cambs police said: "Drugs can ruin lives and James knew this, yet she still decided to smuggle cannabis to her stepson. Thankfully this was intercepted.

"I hope this sends out a warning to those who try to smuggle into prison - you will be brought before the courts."

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Comet was told by Cambridgeshire police that Darius Gumede was Karen James' stepson. Police said this is what the defendant had said in her interview, but after speaking with the Comet it has been established that this was not the case and the story amended accordingly.

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