Ex-HMP Hewell officer at centre of drug smuggling ring

A prison officer who was at the centre of a smuggling ring supplying inmates with drugs and phone has been jailed.

Martin Mills admitted smuggling drugs and "B-list" items phones, while working at HMP Hewell, Worcestershire.

Mills, 34, of Bromsgrove, who was found with prohibited items in cereal boxes, appeared at Worcester Crown Court and was jailed for four years.

Eight other people had been sentenced at the court at previous hearings after a long-running inquiry, police said.

West Mercia Police said the investigation, which begun in April 2018, began with identifying prohibited items being brought into the prison. near Redditch.

"It was quickly found that Martin Mills, a prison officer at HMP Hewell, was at the centre of a smuggling ring," the force said.

"He was stopped as he entered work and found to be smuggling items including drugs, mobile phones and SIM cards in boxes of cereal."

HMP Hewell
The investigation begun in 2018 and looked at how prohibited items were taken inside the prison

As the investigation continued, detectives linked several other people to the case, including prisoners on the blocks Mills worked on as well as family members.

Police said relatives of the prisoners would pay money into Mills' bank account and he would take prohibited items to work for inmates to sell on in prison.

Mills, of Talbot Road, was sentenced at the court on Monday.

'Hinder inmates' rehabilitation'

The other eight defendants had given sentences of between four years and six-months, with some of getting suspended sentences.

Det Con Claire Masters, who led the "long and complicated" investigation, said: "I'm pleased that all those involved have now been brought to justice.

"Prisons should be a place of safety and the actions of Mills and his accomplices threatened that.

"Drugs have no place in prison and hinder the rehabilitation of those who are there, often when they are at their most vulnerable."

Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, X and Instagram. Send your story ideas to: