United Kingdom

Gang admit plot to fly drugs and phones into prison by drone

Three men have admitted a plot to smuggle cannabis and mobile phones into a London prison using a drone.

Jamie Duggan, 30, Kye Hardy-King, 28, and Craig Kearney, 30, were foiled when their four-propeller drone was spotted hovering above Wandsworth jail four years ago. 

It led to the a high-speed police chase which ended after 69 seconds when Kearney accelerated to 91mph and crashed his Peugeot, killing his nursery worker girlfriend. 

Along with inside man Duggan and Hardy-King, he will now face sentencing at Kingston Crown Court next month after pleading guilty to conspiracy to convey prohibited items into a prison and conspiracy to supply psychoactive substances.

Hardy-King was part of of a gang that stole more than £400,000 of designer goods England captain John Terry's mansion in Oxshott, Surrey, in 2017. 

Some of the star's luxuries were found in his home and he was handed a 12-month suspended sentence after pleading guilty to one count of handling stolen goods.

Jamie Duggan, 30, (middle) Kye Hardy-King, 28, (right) and Craig Kearney, 30, (left) were foiled when their four-propeller drone was spotted hovering above Wandsworth jail four years ago 

The men tried to fly a drone into Wandsworth prison in southwest London (pictured)  in 2016

Kearney was jailed for eight years in 2018 for killing 25-year-old Acacia Smith while attempting to flee two unmarked police cars after their drone plot unravelled. 

A white four-propeller drone was found close to the scene of the crash on Wandsworth Bridge Road in the early hours of August 9, 2016.

Some 174g of a herbal synthetic cannabis-type substance was discovered in the car along with nine miniature mobile phones, four USB flash drives, cables and a memory card wrapped in cellophane.

An examination of the drone found it had been switched on at Hardy-King's home in Hounslow, west London, earlier that evening.

It had been flown for three minutes and 14 seconds and was 110m in the air outside the prison for 13 seconds before being brought back down.

Duggan, a Wandsworth prison inmate, was the inside man who would receive the smuggled items.

He had received a message from Kearney that read: 'We gotta go n do duggy drone 2nite.'

Kearney was jailed for eight years in 2018 for killing 25-year-old Acacia Smith while attempting to flee two unmarked police cars after their drone plot unravelled

Hardy-King was part of of a gang that stole more than £400,000 of designer goods England captain John Terry's mansion in Oxshott, Surrey, in 2017 (Terry and wife Toni pictured on holiday at time of the raid)

Duggan was jailed for 12 years in 2017 as part of a gang who blew up cash machines to steal hundreds of thousands of pounds in a 10-month spree.

Senior Crown Prosecution Service prosecutor Paul Goddard said: 'Drones are a scourge on our prisons and have contributed to blighting them with illegal substances, phones and other illicit items.

'This greatly impacts on the ability of authorities to be able to keep prisoners safe and stop criminal enterprises from working from the inside.

'The prosecution was able to show that Kearney, Duggan and Hardy-King were all working together in this conspiracy to get psychoactive substances and mobile phones into Wandsworth prison.

'The CPS has been working closely with the police in this complex case providing advice and guidance at various stages.

'These guilty pleas have brought an end to a long and thorough investigation by the police who have worked incredibly hard to piece together all the evidence needed for this successful prosecution.

'We take the dealing of substances and other illegal items inside prisons extremely seriously and will work with our criminal justice partners to prosecute those who break the law.'  

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