Besotted prison warden smuggled drugs and phones into jail for inmate lover

A besotted prison warder who smuggled drugs and mobile phones into a jail had written a love letter to an inmate allegedly involved in the plot days before he was freed from prison, a jury heard.

Besotted prison warden smuggled drugs and phones into jail for inmate lover

The note Hannah Stewart sent to 26-year-old Andrelle Leedham - whom she had met while he was held at Featherstone jail where she worked - was read to Stafford Crown Court by Mr Gerard Quirke, prosecuting.

It said: "My gorgeous baby. I don't know where to start. It feels like a dream to have someone as sexy as you who actually wants me. I have fallen for you and there is no going back.

"I admit that I seriously love you. I really hope you think the same and it would certainly hurt me if you did not. We will be good together.

"I have butterflies in my stomach when I see you and when you kiss me I go weak at the knees. I can't wait until Friday when I can talk to you all the time and we can do what we want when we want."

The couple had sex soon after he was freed and were later both involved in the plan to smuggle the contraband into Featherstone prison, the court heard.

Stewart, now awaiting sentence, gave evidence at the trial of Leedham, who denies involvement in the conspiracy, and told the jury: "He made me feel good about myself. He told me I was attractive, that he would like to get to know me and one day would have me.

"At first I just ignored him but he continued to say how beautiful I was, how he had feelings for me and wanted to be with me when he got out. I believed him. I should have reported him but did not. I had started to like him. I wrote the letter to him the week before he was released and it accurately reflected my feelings towards him."

Leedham was freed on August 23 but the fling had finished by the end of the following month, claimed Stewart who denied having sex with him in jail. She alleged that he prepared the package she smuggled into the jail on November 22 and organised for an inmate to take it from her. She and two prisoners were arrested when the plot was foiled by jail staff. The trio have admitted involvement, the jury was told.

Leedham was detained in January after his palm and fingerprints were found on items bound into the package which held cannabis, anabolic steroids, mobile phones and alcohol, the court heard.

Mr Oliver Woolhouse, defending, told Stewart: "Andrelle Leedham was not involved at all. You have used him as a scapegoat."

But prosecutor Mr Quirke insisted: "He is the man responsible for creating this plot using the woman prison officer he had round his little finger."

Leedham from Thompson Avenue, Blakenhall, denies conspiracy to supply drugs between March 1 2012 and November 23 2013 and conspiracy to convey prohibited articles to HMP Featherstone.

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