Wigan jail worker who smuggled and dealt drugs for prisoners is hit by court bill

A kitchen supervisor at Wigan’s jail who had an affair with an inmate and was jailed for drug dealing and smuggling has been forced to pay back at least some of her ill-gotten gains.

Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 11:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 11:46 am
Annette Causey's mug shot

Annette Causey sneaked cannabis and tobacco into Hindley Prison secreted in her bra after forming a relationship with armed robber Jamie Ellis, after he’d been given a cleaning job in the kitchens, Bolton Crown Court heard.

The 35-year-old single mum, who used to be a prison officer at Hindley when it was a young offenders’ institution, but had to move to the catering department when she kept failing fitness tests when retraining, had pleaded guilty to conspiring with four members of the public to supply cannabis resin between April and July 2018 at the Bickershaw institution.

She also admitted conspiring to supply class B drugs and tobacco between March and July 2018 and smuggling tobacco into the jail on July 10, 2018, and was jailed for a total of 30 months earlier this year.

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Now she has returned to the court for a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing.

The court was told that it had been estimated that she had benefitted to the tune of £22,400 from her criminal activities.

But after assessment of her assets it was ruled that she would only be able to pay £1,410 in the next month.

Failure to do so would mean 26 days would be added to her custodial sentence.

The hearing was told Causey, of Warrington Road, Abram, would receive payments for the contraband after she fell for 31-year-old Ellis who had been jailed in 2015 for his part in a series of armed robberies.

They would send sexual messages to each other, Ellis using a mobile smuggled into the jail, and they would meet for sexual contact twice a day in the prison.

The smuggling and drug peddling continued until the police’s anti-corruption unit was tipped off and a search was made of Ellis’s cell, which found two mobiles and a book containing Causey’s phone number.

Causey was arrested and admitted to having drugs on her, saying that her daughter had been threatened if she didn’t carry out orders.

Hidden inside her bra were three packages containing 45.3 grams of cannabis resin, two bags of tobacco and £510 in cash.

Inside her car parked outside the prison, police found three more packages containing 48.9 grams of cannabis resin, another two packs of tobacco and £900 in cash, plus correspondence of an erotic nature.

When Causey’s home was searched, a stash of cash, love letters written for Ellis and cannabis were seized.

The court was told that the total amount of cannabis confiscated had a street value of around £14,000.

She admitted to misconduct in a public office and conspiracy to supply class B drugs.

Ellis, of Lakenheath Road, Knowsley, admitted conspiracy to supply cannabis resin and six mobiles inside prison between March and July 2018 and was given a new 16-month prison term. And Mark Berry, 31, of Baguley Avenue, Widnes, who had denied conspiring to supply cannabis resin and possessing a mobile inside a prison, but changed his pleas, was jailed for 21 months.

It was estimated that Ellis had benefitted to the tune of £18,970 and Berry by £13,121, but neither had hardly any assets to speak of and so nominal penalties of just £1 to repay were imposed against them.

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