Prison teaching assistant accused of having affair and smuggling drugs into prison for lover

Court news
Court news

A prison teacher has today (Wednesday) appeared in court accused of having a sexual relationship with an inmate and smuggling cannabis behind bars.

Mum Samantha Drinkwater, 48, from Ramsey, is said to have had a 20-month fling with the male prisoner while working at high security jail HMP Whitemoor in Cambridgeshire.

She was employed by People Plus - an employment support and training services firm - at the time of the alleged offences between November 2015 and July 2017.

Reading the charges against Drinkwater, Judge Recorder Mark Ockleton said: "Count one: while employed as a public officer for People Plus. You wilfully misconducted yourself by engaging in a sexual relationship with a prisoner.

"Count two: You - that is, without authorisation, you brought an SD card into HMP Whitmore.

"Count three: misconduct while in judicial public office brought grade listed B article into the prison, Possession of Class B drug, with intent, on the 7th July 2017, namely, Cannabis.

"Count four: Possession of a controlled drug of class B."

Drinkwater, who was arrested after allegedly trying to get cannabis into the Category A jail, pleaded not guilty to the charge of intent to supply Cannabis.

She pleaded guilty to possession, and to bringing the SD card into the prison.

Prosecuting, Benedict Peers said: "A legal debate must be had, it seems, as to if the defendant was in public office during the said time.

"She was a teaching assistant - we must first confirm if this counts as public office before we confirm a trial date. The trial is likely to take three days."

Drinkwater pleaded not guilty to engaging in a sexual relationship with a prisoner while in public office.

She wore a pink scarf and blue and white striped top with a navy blazer, and spoke only to confirm her name and state her pleas.

Drinkwater, of Ramsey, Cambs., attended Peterborough Crown Court with a blonde female friend at the hearing which lasted no longer than 15 minutes.

She was granted unconditional bail.