1. ITV Report

Grandmother among 14 people jailed in Bridgend Parc Prison drugs investigation

Left to right: Christina Sperin, Carly Stead, Craig Hynes, Christian Nichols, Debbie Sullivan, Emma Whatmough, Jodie Powell, John Gluyas, Nicholas Bradbeer Credit: South Wales Police
Left to right: Jamie Fewtrell, Nathan Hynes, Susan Hynes, Tara Gaskin Credit: South Wales Police

A grandmother is among 14 people who have been arrested from Llanelli to the West Midlands as part of a two-year investigation.

The investigation began with the routine search of a woman while she was visiting her son at Bridgend’s Parc Prison.

On 24th December, 2015, prison officers discovered Susan Hynes was trying to pass Subutex tablets to her son Nathan Hynes during a prison visit.

South Wales Police arrested the 56 year-old woman from Merthyr Tydfil.

Police have since seized drugs, cash, sports cars and expensive watches.

Police discovered Hynes was texting a number of other people including Craig Hynes – her son, Emma Whatmore, and Jodie Powell, about supplying drugs.

From looking into bank statements and phones, officers discovered Debbie Cullen and Carly Stead, from Swansea, and Nicholas Bradbeer and Jamie Fewtrell, both from Merthyr Tydfil - were all receiving payments from inmates at Parc Prison.

They have now all been arrested.

This was a very complex case which involved the examination of dozens of bank accounts and mobile phone bills and it was this work which uncovered the movement of hundreds of thousands of pounds of drug money.

South Wales Police police take the smuggling of contraband into prisons seriously and will follow the evidence wherever it takes us... [This operation] underlines our determination to stamp out drugs in our prisons which contributes to violence and places additional stress on other emergency services such as the ambulance service and NHS.

Ultimately, we must ensure that prisons are a place where inmates can rehabilitate and feel safe from harm, rather than be introduced to drugs so that others can make significant sums of money.

– Detective Inspector Richard Weber

Police discovered links to Tara Gaskin in Birmingham.

Officers uncovered credits worth more than £100,000 over four years being made into three bank accounts held by her.

Her son, John Blakeney, and his partner Christina Sperin were also involved.

Following the arrest of Blakeney, a search found 242 grams cocaine with a street value of £32,000, digital scales, and a drugs ‘tick list’.

Despite being unemployed, Sperin owned expensive watches and a BMW X6 sports car.

This was seized by officers under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

in cash was recovered from a bedroom of a property linked John Gluyas in Ravenhill Road.

Gluyas was serving a prison sentence in Parc Prison for conspiracy to supply drugs.

Police said he orchestrated drugs deals into and out of prison, making large amounts of money from drugs including Spice and Subutex.

Following a search of his cell a drugs ‘tick list’ was found which revealed he was involved in the supply of steroids, Subutex and mobile phones into prison.

Additionally, Swansea man Christian Nicholas was convicted in February, 2016, of throwing a bottle containing Spice into the grounds of Parc Prison.

Today's verdicts send a strong message to those who would seek to disrupt the prison’s regime by attempting to bring contraband into Parc that they risk facing prison time themselves.

Drugs inside any prisons make them less safe for prisoners, who deserve a safe place to live, and staff, who deserve a safe place to work.

– Janet Wallsgrove, Director for HMP Parc