Prison officer Stephanie Smithwhite, 40, who was formerly employed at HMP Frankland, Durham, a maximum security prison, was this week sentenced to two years for two counts of misconduct in a public office. One of the charges was connected to her sexual relationship with inmate Curtis Warren, and the second was her failure to report her knowledge that he had access to a phone.
After other prison staff began to get suspicious about the relationship between Smithwhite and Warren, a surveillance operation was put into place. Investigators found they had called each other 213 times in just three months. The pair were caught exchanging notes detailing sexual fantasies, with Warren attempting to eat one of the sordid letters when he was caught with it. Police found more notes when they searched Smithwhite’s home, plus a copy of Warren’s autobiography. They also found a white Samsung phone in her car which was only used to ring one number – traced to Frankland Prison, and used by Curtis Warren. Smithwhite is said to have cut a hole in her prison uniform trousers in order to indulge in sexual liaisons with Warren – though she denied it was for this purpose. The pair cavorted in his cell, in the kitchen and a laundry room at the jail which houses some of the UK’s most dangerous criminals.
Judge Jonathan Carroll said 56-year-old Warren was a ‘major league offender’ who tried to manipulate her into bringing contraband into the prison after starting their affair, and asked her about prison intelligence and security cameras.
Curtis ‘Cocky’ Warren is an English drugs baron and gangster who at one time was Interpol’s Target One. He was also listed on the Sunday Times Rich List at one point, due to his criminal earnings. Warren was found guilty in 2009 for conspiracy to smuggle cannabis. He was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment for his part in the plot. In November 2013, Warren was ordered to pay a £198m confiscation order, or face another ten years in jail. On 27 March 2014 it was reported that Warren had lost his appeal over his failure to pay the order, and so would remain in prison.
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