Prison Officer facing jail after affair with notorious Liverpool drugs baron Curtis Warren

An officer at a top security prison is facing jail when she is sentenced later for having an affair behind bars with notorious Liverpool criminal Curtis "Cocky" Warren.

Stephanie Smithwhite, 40, was an officer at HMP Frankland near Durham where the gangster - once named in the Sunday Times Rich List - was serving time.

Last month, she appeared before Durham Crown Court to admit two counts of misconduct in a public office.

The first count related to their sexual relationship, said to have lasted between June and December 2018.

The second count related to her not reporting that she knew he had access to a phone.

It was understood the tiny handset was a so-called "prison phone", little bigger than a #2 coin.

Smithwhite, who is from Boldon Colliery, South Tyneside, will be sentenced now that the Probation Service has completed a report.

At the plea hearing, Judge Jonathan Carroll told her: "The overwhelming likelihood is that you face an immediate custodial sentence."

Warren, 56, is a Liverpool-born gangster who became an international drug trafficker worth tens of millions.

He moved to the Netherlands in the 1990s and was jailed there after officers raided his villa and found a huge haul of drugs and weapons.

He was convicted of manslaughter following a prison yard fight with a Turkish inmate.

Just weeks after his release, he was arrested in Jersey for a major drug smuggling plot and was told in 2013 he faced another 10 years in jail if he did not abide by a #198 million confiscation order.

Curtis Warren at his trial in Jersey Credit: PA