A knife thug used "moral pressure" to persuade his mum to try and smuggle £32,000 worth of illicit goods into his prison - which ended with her also behind bars.

Clare Karpinski, 46, was caught trying to get two potentially lucrative packages into HMP Northumberland, on December, 23, 2019.

Karpinski, from Birkenhead, drove another criminal from Cumbria to the prison where an unidentified passenger hurled the packages over the prison's perimeter wall.

Karpinski had been recruited by her 23-year-old son, Chance Beardmore - who was one intended recipient of the goods, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

The court heard Beardmore was serving a six year sentence handed down in 2017 for stabbing a boy three times while “showing off” to his gang mates in Neston, Wirral.

He plunged a knife into his 17-year-old victim’s back on a quiet, residential street, a crime that led a judge to conclude Beardmore posed a "serious risk".

Joe Allman, prosecuting, said: “[Beardmore] escaped from the secure laundry room in order to collect the packages from a grassy area within the prison perimeter, but was interrupted by prison officers who intercepted them."

Clare Karpinski, 46, who was recruited by her son Chance Beardmore to smuggle drugs and other goods into prison
Clare Karpinski, 46, who was recruited by her son Chance Beardmore to smuggle drugs and other goods into prison

Mr Allman added: “When challenged shortly afterwards in the laundry room, he was grinning.

"It transpired that the laundry plant room door had been kicked in and an inner vent forced.

“That is how Mr Beardmore escaped the laundry room to try, unsuccessfully, to retrieve the packages.”

The items inside were potentially worth more than £32,000 in custody.

They included cocaine, cannabis bush and hundreds of other controlled drug tablets, along with iPhones, USB cables, SIM cards, tobacco, alcohol, steroids, new syringes and needles.

Dan Travers, defending Beardmore, said: “He involved his mother through a moral pressure.”

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Mr Travers added: “He is ashamed he got her involved. He hopes the court can consider her position more leniently and blame him.”

Peter Killen, defending Karpinski, said she was “naïve” and had “little understanding” of the operation’s scale.

He said his client did not know there was cocaine in the packages, adding: “She believed her son was in trouble, in danger.”

‪‬Beardmore and his mother, both of Bedford Road, Birkenhead, admitted conveying articles into prison.

Beardmore was jailed for 42 months, and Karpinski for 27 months.

The contents of packages Clare Karpinski tried to smuggle into prison for her son Chance Beardmore
The contents of packages Clare Karpinski tried to smuggle into prison for her son Chance Beardmore

Their offending came to light as part of a wider Cumbria Police investigation into a cocaine supply ring which continued even after the ring leaders were locked up.

While behind bars at HMP Northumberland, 35-year-old Stephen Dixon used an illicit phone and had a concealed cell cavity as he headed the gang.

Sitting just below Dixon, of Blackwell Road, Carlisle, in the chain of command was his “man on the outside” Dylan Schwencke, 25, of Warnell Drive, Carlisle, who had supplied Karpinski with the packages.

But Cumbria detectives smashed the supply plot after gathering damning mobile phone evidence, raiding addresses and making seizures.

The contents of packages Clare Karpinski tried to smuggle into prison for her son Chance Beardmore

These included cocaine potentially worth several hundreds of thousands of pounds, specialist metal press parts, phones, cash bundles, weapons and luxury items including Rolex watches and even a Harrods reward card.

In text message exchanges, Schwencke had boasted to Dixon: “We wer flat out for 2 year they cudnt catch us.”

Dixon and Schwencke both admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine, and were jailed for eight years eight months, and 10-and-a-half years, respectively.

Judge Nicholas Barker, sentencing, called the cocaine supply plot “large scale, well informed and well connected”.