Drug smuggling at HMP Wymott foiled when inmate 'slid his hand up to mum's bra' during prison visit

Winifred Sweeney
Winifred Sweeney
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An inappropriate hug between a mother and son led to a prison smuggling discovery, a court has heard.

Winifred Sweeney was spotted in a seemingly loving embrace with her son, a serving prisoner at HMP Wymott in Leyland, during a family visit with her other children.

But suspicions arose when he slid his hand up to his mum's bra.

The 42-year-old mum, who has no previous convictions, has now been jailed for six months.

She sobbed in the dock at Preston's Sessions House Court as Recorder Long told her: " You were given a stark choice of what you should do . You made the wrong choice.

"A prison sentence is required to punish you and to deter others."

Prosecuting, Rebecca McGregor said the defendant visited the Lancashire jail on March 1.

She was accompanied by her adult daughter and her two children aged seven and 13.

She said: " A prison staff member was observing and saw the defendant hugging her son in a manner she found to be suspicious and inappropriate.

"His arm moved up towards her bra area and he then placed something in the waistband of his jeans.

"Mr Sweeney was searched."

The package was found to contain 47.6g of cannabis resin and 23.3g of cannabis skunk.

There was 71g of tobacco, an unidentified brown powder, and also seven SIM cards wrapped in cling film.

The drugs were valued at around £238 if sold on the street - but in prison the value is far higher, potentially almost £3,000, the court heard.

The mum, of Melling Road, Aintree, Liverpool, made no comment in her interview but gave an account in her pre sentence report that she had been "placed under pressure" to deliver the goods.

Sweeney's defence lawyer said she was of previous good character and was "petrified" of the consequences of her actions.

Tackling smuggling is a constant battle at the category C jail, which opened in 1979 and accommodates both sex offenders and mainstream Category C offenders.

Sweeney's sentencing comes three months after police charged ten people in connection with allegations drugs and phones were air dropped into HMP Wymott and other prisons across the North West and West Midlands using drones.