Serial Sunderland criminal caught making botched attempt to smuggle drugs into top security prison

A serial criminal who smuggled drugs into a top security jail has been put behind bars.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 20 July, 2018, 13:26
Shaun Ellwood

Shaun Ellwood was seen acting suspiciously during a visit at HMP Frankland, in Durham, and tried to make a run for it when guards approached.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 46-year-old was quickly caught and found to be carrying buprenorphine in his trouser pocket.

While out on bail for the botched handover, Ellwood, who has 122 previous convictions, then burgled two properties.

He has now been locked up for three years.

The court heard it was on October 8 last year when he went to the high security prison to see an inmate.

Prosecutor Kevin Wardlaw said: "He was seen acting suspiciously and it was apparent he had something in the pocket of his trousers.

"He didn't supply the drugs but staff formed the view he intended to pass something on.

"They approached him to search him. He stood up and took a couple of steps forward as if consenting before making to run off, which was unsuccessful."

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He was found to be in possession of 2.6g of buprenorphine.

Ellwood initially claimed he had them for himself but he pleaded guilty to conveying drugs into prison.

On March 14 this year he broke into two properties at Rydal Mount, Sunderland.

He stole food from an outhouse then went next door and broke into a utility room, stealing fishing tackle and vacuums worth £698.

Mr Wardlaw said: "Both complainants said the fact he had been into their house and outhouse made them feel uneasy in their own homes."

Ellwood, of Ravenswood Square, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary.

Vic Laffey, defending, said Ellwood had been working on a drug and alcohol programme in prison “to deal with a problem that is at the root of his offending”.

He added: "He is tired of being in prison and wants to sort himself out. He wants to put an end to it."