‘Legal high’ jail smuggler nabbed

Hindley Young Offenders' Institution
Hindley Young Offenders' Institution
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A MAN has admitted smuggling legal highs and a mobile phone into Hindley Young Offenders’ Institution.

Nasim Choudhery pleaded guilty to the offences at Wigan Magistrates’ Court, and claimed he was giving them to an inmate during a visit after being asked by a third party.

The hearing took place as it emerged that three prisoners at Hindley needed hospital treatment after reportedly taking legal highs earlier this month.

According to a Ministry of Justice report, which was leaked to the BBC, one inmate suffered a cardiac arrest and two others stopped breathing after they were seen “acting strangely” during incidents between January 1 and 3.

All three were taken to Wigan Infirmary for treatment, according to The Prison Service Daily Operations Report.

There was nothing to suggest that the incidents were related to Choudhery’s actions.

Wigan justices heard how the 34-year-old from Ashton-Under-Lyne smuggled the phone and three cylinders of legal high Spice on January 5.

Steve Woodman, prosecuting, said: “The prison guards monitored CCTV and Mr Choudhery was seen to pass him a package.

“Prison guards went straight away to him and he was detained.”

The court heard how inside the package was a mobile phone with five sim cards and Spice, a green vegetation which is “causing the prison service a number of problems.”

Mr Woodman added: “He said he was dropping the package off through the instruction of someone he didn’t know and he would get £100 for doing it.”

Martin Jones, defending, said: “When my client was interviewed, he made a full and frank admission to the police and that he was stupid for going along with the suggestion.

“The reason was money was offered.”

Choudhery will next appear at Liverpool Crown Court on February 17.

As far as the Hindley YOI illnesses are concerned, staff believed a man on D wing had taken a new psychoactive substance (NPD) on January 1 which left him was “bouncing off the walls.”

He was restrained and suffered a cardiac arrest but paramedics and healthcare staff were able to restart his heart. He discharged himself from hospital the next day against medical advice and returned to jail.

The next morning a man on J wing was found lying on his bed “acting strangely” and “incoherent.” He was also believed to have taken a legal high and had to be resuscitated by paramedics before being taken to hospital.

Officers found a third prisoner in F wing on January 3 who was also revived and taken to hospital for treatment.

A Prison Services spokesman said: “Governors use sniffer dogs, cell searches and mandatory drugs tests to find drugs in prison and punish those responsible.

“We have also passed laws so that people who smuggle packages over prison walls, including drugs, face up to two years in prison.

“However, it’s clear we need to do more. The Justice Secretary has asked the Ministry of Justice to look at how we can ensure prisons have the right tools in place to tackle this problem.”