'We will bring them to justice' say police after prison officer is jailed for affair with drugs lord Curtis Warren

Police say the jailing of a female prison officer who had an affair with a notorious drugs lord is proof that they will tackle corruption.

Friday, 7th February 2020, 3:45 pm
Updated Friday, 7th February 2020, 7:35 pm
Disgraced prison officer Stephanie Smithwhite, left, had a sexual relationship with notorious Curtis Warren.

Stephanie Smithwhite, 40, of Moor Crescent, East Boldon, is beginning two years behind bars after she admitted two counts of misconduct in a public place following her relationship with Frankland Prison inmate Curtis Warren.

While she denied that cutting a hole in her prison officer uniform was for sexual reasons, the judge who locked her up said it was hard to imagine why else it was there.

Detective Inspector Lindsay Banks-Brown, from Durham CID, has now said after Smithwhite was jailed: “We have worked closely with the relevant authorities to tackle the issue of corruption within our prisons.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

A police photo of disgraced prison officer Stephanie Smithwhite.

“Those who choose to act dishonestly in a position of trust should not be allowed to tarnish the reputation of honest, hardworking staff who carry out their duties within the law.

“We hope this result shows we will take action against those people who believe they are above the law and engage in corrupt activity, and we will bring them to justice.”

Warren, 56, originally from Liverpool and nicknamed Cocky, is serving 13 years for conspiracy to import drugs and a further 10-year sentence for failing to pay back £198 million in proceeds of crime.

Stephanie Smithwhite outside court at an earlier hearing. Picture by Glen Minikin.

He had previously committed manslaughter in a jail fight with an inmate in Holland.

Durham Crown Court heard the pair indulged in oral sex and kissing in secret liaisons in his cell, in the kitchen and a laundry room at the jail.

She also sent him a photo of herself wearing a catsuit, the sentencing hearing was told.

Judge Jonathan Carroll described Warren as a "major league offender" who tried to manipulate her into bringing contraband into the prison after starting their affair and asked her about prison intelligence and security cameras.

Notorious inmate Curtis Warren.

The Ministry of Justice declined to comment on the case.