Jail for prison worker from Ramsey who admitted smuggling in banned items for convicted murderer

Samantha Drinkwater

Samantha Drinkwater - Credit: Archant

A prison worker from Ramsey who smuggled banned items for a convicted murderer she was having a relationship with has been jailed.

Samantha Drinkwater, 49, met the prisoner, Michael Gregory, when she was working as a teacher at HMP Whitemoor, in the Fens.

In May last year evidence of their relationship was captured on camera, along with footage of Drinkwater passing several small packages to Gregory.

The court heard how Gregory was a Category A prisoner and a “dangerous individual”.

Following her arrest, Drinkwater’s vehicle was searched and a quantity of cannabis, a small Nokia mobile phone and four miniature bottles of whiskey were discovered. A search of her home uncovered a notebook with doodles detailing their relationship and a number of electrical items including SD cards.

When the prisoner, who is serving a life sentence, was searched, officers found an SD card and a small quantity of cannabis. Content on the SD card matched material on an external hard drive seized from Drinkwater’s property.

Examination of the mobile phone found in Drinkwater’s vehicle revealed text conversations between her and another person that she later admitted was the prisoner.

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Drinkwater, of Hawthorn Road, Ramsey, admitted misconduct in a public office, possession of cannabis with intent to supply and conveyance of an SD card into a prison.

Today (Monday) at Peterborough Crown Court she was sentenced to a total of two years in prison.

Detective Constable Shelly Reeve said: “Drinkwater abused her position of trust and entered into this relationship in full knowledge that it was inappropriate.

“We take offences of this nature incredibly seriously and work with the Prison Service to bring offenders to justice.”

Prisons Minister Rory Stewart said: “This is shocking. This kind of behaviour undermines a whole prison – it is dangerous. It threatens other, hard-working, dedicated staff and unfairly sullies their reputations too – I am delighted the court has taken strong action.”