A killer who smiled as he was jailed for life had £7,000 worth of drug flown in to him in prison.

Gareth Birmingham, from Kensington , smirked as he was jailed for life in 2006 over the murder of drug dealer Robert Ryan.

The now 36-year-old, who was also convicted of conspiracy to rob , has not changed his ways after a fellow inmate was found to have stashed drugs and a mobile phone for him.

Sean Hayes took the drone delivery for Birmingham in November 2017 but was not sentenced for the crimes until Monday, September 16, 2019.

The pair were serving their time at HMP Wymott when 300g of cannabis and a mobile phone were discovered.

Gareth Birmingham was given a life sentence for stabbing drug dealer Robert Ryan to death

Preston Crown Court heard guards at the prison in Leyland spotted a drone approaching the prison and started an investigation.

They searched Hayes’ cell and found a mobile phone and charger hidden in a speaker and the drugs stashed inside a light fitting.

The drugs had a street value of £1,380 but would be worth upwards of £7,000 behind bars, the court heard.

 

Hayes admitted he was storing the drugs for Birmingham after running up a debt to him.

But he was not interviewed by police until June 2018 and was only summoned to court in July 2019 to formally enter his plea.

A drone carrying 300g of cannabis and a mobile phone was spotted by guards at HMP Wymott (generic image)

Hayes pleaded guilty to both counts and appeared by video link to be sentenced.

Judge Andrew Jeffries QC said Hayes had a realistic prospect of release from his burglary sentence in December this year, but given the gravity of the offence he would have to impose a consecutive sentence which would delay his release further.

 

He added: “A drone delivered items into prison where prison officers carried out checks.

“Shortly they found you in possession of the phone, which was yours, and they also found 300g of cannabis.

“Your basis of plea was that you were not dealing within prison to other inmates, you were storing it for another, ie Mr Birmingham.

“He is a lifer. He has pleaded guilty to a simple possession in the lower court,

 

 “There has been a history to this case which has been wholly unacceptable and frankly, embarrassing.

“I do have sympathy for the fact of the delay but the reality is that you were always going to receive a consecutive sentence.”

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He jailed him for nine months to run consecutively.

The court heard Birmingham pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis in the magistrates court and was handed six months consecutive to his life sentence.

Birmingham was branded "scum" by Robert Ryan's family and friends back in 2006 after he was found unanimously guilty by a jury.

On the night of the murder Mr Ryan had been lured to a side street in Tuebrook on January 12, believing he was to sell the two men cocaine but instead he was stabbed to death.