Prison party video probe as group including coke dealer and killer film themselves behind bars

A dealer who supplied multi-million pound shipments of drugs and a convicted murderer are among a group of criminals caught on camera partying in prison and chanting vile racism.

Leon Hinchcliffe, who was jailed in May 2018 for his role in a Wirral drugs gang behind a £9m cocaine plot, videoed himself and other criminals inside HMP Buckley Hall. The video shows Hinchcliffe and a number of other individuals inside a cell listening to dance music and drinking suspected alcohol.

One of the other men inside the cell, who the ECHO understands is convicted murderer John Dyer, then stands up and shouts "where are the n******, get them in here". The other men all then chant the same vile racist language. Hinchcliffe repeatedly shouts "Dyer" before the men all pose for the camera.

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The ECHO understands another man in the centre of the video is another murderer, Michael Haigh, who killed a dad-of-two in a hit and run attack. We understand the video was taken inside HMP Buckley Hall - a category C prison near Rochdale - on Friday, May 24. The ECHO has muted the video because of the vile racist language used by the prisoners.

A source, who sent the video to the ECHO, said "drug lords and murderers celebrating what they've done when they should be in rehabilitation sickens me...this is not fair on the victims of the families of these monsters". The ECHO understands the videos were shared online but have since been removed.

A spokesperson for the Prison Service said: "We do not tolerate mobile phones in prison and those found with them can face extra time behind bars." The Prison Service has a specialist team, called the HMPPS' Digital Media Investigations Unit, who identify and work with social media companies to identify and take down the material.

Hinchcliffe was uncovered as playing a leading role in a huge cocaine conspiracy responsible for supplying hundreds of kilos of class A drugs across the UK. Ledgers seized as part of a Merseyside Police investigation codenamed Operation Wessex revealed they moved drugs with a street value in excess of £9m between the end of January and beginning of July in 2016.

Officers also seized a £1.4m stash including more than 9kg of cocaine, 7kg of unadulterated heroin, 10,000 MDMA pills and 11,000 diazepam tablets from the gang. Hinchcliffe and his co-conspirators were arrested in December 2016. Hinchcliffe, formerly of Grasmere Avenue in Noctorum, was found guilty after trial of drug offences and jailed for 22 years, six months.

Haigh, formerly of Buttermere Crescent, Rainford, murdered a dad after an argument over a hunting dog. Haigh, who was 25 when he was sentenced for the murder in April 2015, deliberately drove a Jeep Cherokee into Ryan Kennedy and crushed him into a wall.

He claimed it hit his best friend by accident when "trying to scare him". He pleaded guilty to manslaughter but was found guilty of murder. The court heard he left his friend to die in a pile of rubble before going on the run for eight days while trying to cover his tracks. Haigh was sentenced to a minimum term of 17 years.

Dyer stabbed another man to death in a cocaine-fuelled frenzy before he told shocked witnesses "I'm not a***d" and sped away in his car. Stephen Bennett was 28 when he was stabbed in the back with an eight-inch kitchen knife. Dyer claimed he acted in self defence during a trial at Liverpool Crown Court – even though his victim was stabbed multiple times and he did not receive any injuries.

Dyer was said to be "utterly calm" after the killing - and deployed the help of his dad to dispose of the knife and bloodstained clothes. He was jailed for a minimum term of 21 years in March 2015.

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