Man smuggled heroin into prison under a stamp
A MAN smuggled heroin to his partner in prison – under the postage stamp on a letter.
Ansir Mahmood, 35, pleaded guilty to the offence and was yesterday sentenced to 16 months in prison.
Bristol Crown Court heard that Mahmood, of no fixed address, wrote to his partner Joanne Russell, who was serving time at Eastwood Park prison near Wotton-under-Edge, on April 17 last year.
Prison officers suspected the letter contained drugs and examined it.
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A small amount of heroin – 56mg, which equates to 0.05g of the drug – was found hidden under the postage stamp on the envelope.
Mark Hollier, prosecuting, said Russell's telephone calls were monitored and she could be heard talking to Mahmood, asking for the drug to be sent.
When Mahmood was arrested he admitted writing the letter but denied that he had sent the heroin.
After the envelope had been analysed, Mahmood's fingerprints were found on it and he then admitted conveying a banned substance into prison.
The court was told Mahmood had previous convictions for acquisitive crime and was currently serving time in prison after being sentenced on October 22 for burglary.
His co-defendant in the case was Joanne Russell, who was found guilty after trial.
Katie Jenkins, defending, said Mahmood realised he had been "foolish" in sending the drug, but had been asked by his partner.
Ms Jenkins said the drug was for his partner's own personal use and not sent to be used as "currency" in prison.
"Mahmood is very sorry for what he did – there is a definite element of remorse," she said.
"He is now trying to turn his life around and is making constructive use of his time in prison by taking part in various courses."
Ms Jenkins also pointed out that although Mahmood had a "lengthy list" of previous offences, he had not committed any drugs offences until now.
The court heard Mahmood would be released from his current prison sentence in January next year.
The Recorder Andrew Langdon QC told him: "The problem of drugs within prisons is too problematic for me to articulate.
"You sent a class A drug to a serving prisoner – that's a very serious thing.
"I have taken into account that the amount was very small, nonetheless the principle still applies.
"Everyone needs to understand that the supply of drugs to serving prisoners is so serious that a prison sentence is needed."
Mahmood will serve the 16 months in prison alongside the time he is already serving for other offences.