HMP Berwyn visitor tried to give prisoner drugs and phone hidden in fake Double Decker bars

Kieron Pemberton, 39, of Ormsby Close, Standish was jailed for 16 months for bringing a prohibited article into a prison
Kieron Pemberton, 39, of Ormsby Close, Standish, was jailed for 16 months for bringing a prohibited article into a prison -Credit:North Wales Police

A prison visitor tried to give an inmate drugs and a phone hidden inside fake Double Decker chocolate bars. A prison guard suspected Kieron Pemberton had hidden the items in his crotch area and alerted colleagues.

Staff at HMP Berwyn in Wrexham watched CCTV footage of the 39-year-old's visit and he was caught trying to pass on the haul. He admitted conveying cocaine, ketamine, a phone and five SIM cards into a prison.

A judge at Mold Crown Court today jailed him for 16 months. Prosecutor Catherine Elvin said Pemberton visited an inmate in the jail on December 3, 2022.

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He was searched by a prison officer who suspected he was concealing items in his crotch but "regrettably" she did not feel comfortable conducting a search at that stage, said Ms Elvin. But she did tell colleagues in the visiting hall and CCTV cameras were closely watched.

Pemberton dropped an item to the floor which "seemingly" fell from his trousers while at a table, said Ms Elvin. He was then seen kicking it towards a prisoner and "repositioning" the table.

Prison officer Michael Christie approached Pemberton and asked him if he had dropped anything but he denied he had. Officer Christie went to the table and found what appeared to be a Double Decker chocolate bar. It contained white powder.

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Police were called and Pemberton was arrested. Prison staff went back and found a second "Double Decker chocolate bar" on the floor containing a mobile phone and five SIM cards.

A drugs expert discovered the drugs comprised 74.4g of ketamine and 61.9g of cocaine in total, worth £7,540 and £9,825 respectively. The cocaine had a purity of 74 per cent.

The mobile phone was worth £200 to £300 and the SIM cards £50. In an interview Pemberton, of Ormsby Close, Standish, gave no comment answers.

In a statement Robin Mann, HMP Berwyn custody manager, said drugs in prison have "enormous consequences". They contribute to gang culture, hinder inmates' rehabilitation and undermine the public's confidence in the custodial system.

Anthony O'Donohoe, defending, said his client had been helping a friend. He is "annoyed with himself" as he had been "making progress in life".

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He had been on a railway engineering technician's course. "All the building blocks of leading a law-abiding life were slowly being put into place," added defence counsel.

The judge His Honour Niclas Parry told Pemberton drugs in prison can lead to ill-discipline, bullying and intimidation. So the length of his sentence must deter others.

He jailed Pemberton for 16 months for each of two counts of conveying a List A article into prison - the drugs. He also received 16 months for conveying a List B item - the phone and SIM cards - into a prison. He will serve half of one 16-month term with the other two sentences running concurrently.

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