Stephanie Smithwhite, of Moor Crescent, Boldon Colliery, must wait to learn her fate after pleading guilty to two offences of misconduct in public office in connection with Curtis “Cocky” Warren.
Warren – once Interpol’s Target One while under investigation in the 1990s – is currently serving 13 years in HMP Frankland, Durham City, after he was convicted in 2009 of plotting to smuggle £1m of cannabis into Jersey.
Smithwhite, 40, has admitted to one count of engaging in an intimate relationship with Warren.
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The second misconduct offence relates to knowing Warren had access to a mobile phone in prison to make contact with her and not reporting it to the prison authorities or taking action to remove it.
She has been bailed by Durham Crown Court until Friday, February 7, when she will be sentenced.
Warren, 56, originally from Toxteth, in Liverpool, was named in The Sunday Times rich list in 1998 because of his estimated £40m business fortune before he was removed after a criminal conviction the following year.
While serving 12 years in a Dutch prison following the seizure of £125m of drugs and weapons from his portfolio of properties, he was convicted of killing a fellow inmate in a 1999 jail yard fight and received an extra four years behind bars.
He was eventually released in 2007 and arrested just weeks later in connection with the Jersey plot.