THOUSANDS of pounds worth of illegal drugs were smuggled into Wrexham prison, a court heard.

Wayne Thomas, 36, of Warrington was jailed for three years and nine months after a hearing at Mold Crown Court and was told he was responsible for more than £10,000 worth of drugs – including cocaine, heroin and ketamine – with the intent to supply these to prisoners at HMP Berwyn in Wrexham.

No separate penalty was imposed for the supply of Class Band C drugs, with the offence of Class A drugs overruling them on totality. The judge did order that all the drugs seized should be destroyed.

The prosecution told the court that Thomas is said to have concealed several contraband items in the toilet u-bend of the cell belonging to another inmate at the North Wales prison before he was allowed on day release with his family in November 2018.

It is thought that Thomas was intending for the other prisoners to take the blame for the drugs and, before Thomas was able to be confronted after the drugs were found, prison staff conducted a search of the cell and found the drug stash on the bed in the cell.

It was discovered that there were two plastic eggs and a third container (namely a screw-top bottle) had been hidden in the plumbing that had been covered with a towel – including wraps of heroin and ketamine as well as a sealed bag of cocaine.

The total find is thought to be an estimated prison value of around £10,000, the court was told, and this was deemed to be a ‘considerable financial gain’ on the part of Thomas by prison standards.

This included 21 ketamine tablets, 28 ketamine wraps, 13 tablets of a Class C nature that are intended to be used to cope with heroin withdrawals, 11 packets of heroin, 10 individual wraps of cocaine totalling 1.34 grams and a sealed 3 gram bag of cocaine at a purity level of almost 80 per cent.

An adjudication hearing was conducted by prison authorities and the inmate confessed that the drugs were his as, in interview, he claimed that he ‘did not want to be a grass’ but changed his mind when he learnt that the police were now involved.

The inmate told the prison staff that another person had informed him that Thomas was seen in his cell and that he was spotted hiding the package in the toilet pipe.

It was heard that Thomas had previous convictions dating back to 2016 for like offences involving the supply and possession of drugs.

The defence, Ms Sarah Griffiths told the court about Thomas’ vulnerability when working for individuals that sought financial gain from the sale of drugs.

Thomas said he was unable to find work after a prison stint for burglary in 2013 and began working for a ‘gang of Scousers’ selling drugs for them and earning up to £4,500 a day.

She said that Thomas’ situation worsened when this gang asked him to take on ‘jobs’ from inside prison including collecting parcels.

She argued that Thomas had made an early indication of a guilty plea in the magistrates court and that his mental health had been stressed at the prospect of being resent to prison.

She said that going back to a prison environment may cause him to feel pressured into holding drugs for people and ending up in a repeat situation.

In summing up, Judge Niclas Parry, said the harm caused to the safety and wellbeing of prisoners and staff at Berwyn by these kinds of drugs are ‘significantly undermining’ and says that the courts will do everything in its power to stop this.

He said: “Drugs of this nature are considered to be a valuable currency in our prisons and that is why this court will do all it can to punish those that seek to make financial gain from this activity.”