Eight years in jail for pair who tried to throw cannabis, heroin, alcohol and mobile phones into prison

Pattrina Stevenson-Francis
Pattrina Stevenson-Francis

Detective hails ‘excellent investigative work’ after a man and a woman are sentenced to a combined total of eight years for ‘throw over’ at The Mount Prison in Bovingdon.

Pattrina Stevenson-Francis, 33, from Third Avenue in Kilburn, and 47 year old Owen Foster, who is of no fixed address, both appeared before Luton Crown Court to be sentenced for conspiracy to supply Class B drugs and a third charge of attempting to convey mobile phones and alcohol into prison last Friday.

Stevenson-Francis, also known as Pattrina Lumsden, was found guilty last Thursday following a trial and received a four and a half year prison term. Foster was jailed for three and a half years after pleading guilty an earlier hearing.

The two were arrested following an investigation into an incident at the prison on April 3, 2013. Stevenson-Francis had been picked up in a taxi from her home address, before the driver was asked to stop and pick up a man nearby. The taxi driver was then instructed to drive on to The Mount.

When they arrived, the man who had been picked up got out of the vehicle. He was subsequently seen in the trees by prison officers, who had been alerted to suspicious activity whilst monitoring CCTV.

Items were recovered, which were meant to have reached prisoners inside The Mount. These included cannabis, heroin, alcohol and mobile phones.

Detective Inspector Ian Butler, who is in charge of Hertfordshire Constabulary’s specialist Rapid Action, Intervention and Disruption (RAID) team said he was pleased the sentences reflected the seriousness of the crime.

“They were arrested following some excellent investigative work and I hope this sends a strong message to anyone thinking of doing anything similar, that prison officers and the police will do everything in their power to bring offenders to justice,” he said.

“I would also like to reassure members of the local community that proactive patrols by my team, who are working closely with the prison and other agencies, is on-going.

“We will continue this partnership working to ensure we can prevent and disrupt any prohibited items reaching prisoners for the safety of prisoners and the community.

“I would encourage anyone who knows who is involved in this type of crime to report it to police in confidence on 101 or by calling Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

A prison spokesperson said: “This sentence clearly demonstrates that these crimes bring severe consequences. We will continue to work in partnership with Herts Police in keeping our communities safe and fighting crime wherever it takes place.”