Spice-smuggling Forest Bank prison officer had ‘unexplained £50k in bank’

A prison officer who brought paper laced with Spice into Forest Bank jail has been locked up.

Brian Massey, 29, brought pieces of paper impregnated with the drug, as well as a ‘large amount of tobacco’ into the Salford prison.

Manchester Crown Court heard Massey received £50,000 in ‘unexplained deposits’ into his bank account.

Massey had a gambling addiction, and also spent £1,000 on a deposit for a diamond ring and ‘expensive holiday flights’, the court heard.

On Tuesday, Massey, from Oldham, was jailed for four-and-a-half years, and the court was told he is now ‘bankrupt’.

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Judge Hilary Manley told him: “You were employed in a position of trust and of some power as a prison officer at Forest Bank prison.

“In July of 2019 you abused that trust entirely.

“You are not the calibre to be expected of a prison officer.

“The terrible fact is you knew full well what you were doing, you took a chance with your eyes open.”

Massey brought the drugs into the jail on July 25, 2019 by prior arrangement.

He was caught and tests revealed that the paper was ‘impregnated’ with Spice.

The court heard he had also brought in a ‘large amount of tobacco’, a banned item in prison.

The judge said that bringing in prohibited items into jails creates an ‘evil currency’, and said Massey had put his ‘colleagues at risk’.

“It is an unforgivable and selfish act which puts so many at risk,” Judge Manley said.

As a prison officer, Massey had seen for himself the impact Spice can have in prison, the court heard.

“As you said, it’s a nightmare,” Judge Manley added.

An investigation revealed that there had been £50,000 of ‘unexplained deposits’ made into Massey’s bank account.

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He had a gambling addiction for ‘some years’ which had led to financial problems, his barrister Zoe Dawson said.

The court was also told he paid £1,000 for a deposit for a diamond ring, and bought ‘expensive holiday flights’.

The judge said Massey has since been ‘vague’ about where the money came from.

Ms Dawson said that instead of ‘wallowing’ in his problems since his arrest, Massey found work in a supermarket and in construction and has ‘taken steps to rehabilitate himself’.

She said he is remorseful and understands the impact his crimes will have on his family ’emotionally’ and ‘financially’, and that the prison environment ‘is not going to be an easy one for him’.

Massey, of Trent Road, Shaw, Oldham, admitted one count of bringing a prohibited item into prison, and one count of converting criminal property.

A Proceeds of Crime investigation will take place, with a hearing scheduled for April.

Manchester Evening News – Oldham