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Former officials admit they feared dealers were getting arrested to sell their product in Belmarsh

Former inmates and prison officers have revealed the shocking reality of drug-fueled violence at HMP Belmarsh.

Channel 5’s documentary HMP Belmarsh: Maximum Security, airing tonight, hears from reformed inmates and a former governor as they recount how they witnessed drugged inmates lying lifeless in their cells, narcotics clashes and inmates killed with caps canned tuna. .

One former prisoner described it as “the closest thing to a coffin” he had ever seen, while another recounted how he heard grown men screaming in despair.

Some of the violence is fueled by the prison drug trade, which is a lucrative source of income for traffickers and gangs.

Vanessa Frake, who worked as the security and operations governor for HMP Wormwood Scrubs in London, explained that drugs are worth three times more in prison than on the street, making it a

Vanessa Frake, who worked as the governor of security and operations for HMP Wormwood Scrubs in London, explained that drugs are worth three times more in prison than on the street, making it a “lucrative business”.

Michael Lothan, a drug user and dealer, served several short sentences in Belmarsh for various drug-related offenses.  He was doused with 'sugar water' for a drug deal gone wrong inside the prison.

Michael Lothan, a drug user and dealer, served several short sentences in Belmarsh for various drug-related offenses. He was doused with ‘sugar water’ for a drug deal gone wrong inside the prison.

Vanessa Frake, who worked as Governor of Security and Operations for HMP Wormwood Scrubs in London, explained that drugs are worth three times more in prison than on the street, making it a “lucrative business”.

She said she believed the incentive was enough to convince inmates to send them to prison for the sole purpose of trafficking.

Drugs in a prison are probably worth three times what they are worth out on the street. It’s a lucrative business,” Frake explained.

HMP Belmarsh, in Thamesmead, South East London, houses Category A offenders.

Category A criminals are considered the most dangerous to society, and Belmarsh convicts include terrorists, murderers, thieves, drug dealers, as well as blue-collar and white-collar criminals.

Moazzam Begg, who was charged with terrorism and held in Belmarsh for seven months on remand in 2014, said: “Now you are essentially in the closest thing to a grave, to a coffin.”

Former drug lord Andrew Pritchard was sent to Belmarsh after police found £1m worth of cocaine in his possession.  He witnessed several violent attacks.

Former drug lord Andrew Pritchard was sent to Belmarsh after police found £1m worth of cocaine in his possession. He witnessed several violent attacks.

Former Tory MP Jonathan Aitken, pictured, spent several months of his 18-month sentence for perjury in 1999 in Belmarsh.  He compared the prison to the 'wild west gone wrong' and recalled hearing men crying at night in the prison area known as 'Beirut', a place where criminals wait to be sectioned off.

Former Tory MP Jonathan Aitken, pictured, spent several months of his 18-month sentence for perjury in 1999 in Belmarsh. He compared the prison to the ‘wild west gone wrong’ and recalled hearing men crying at night in the prison area known as ‘Beirut’, a place where criminals wait to be sectioned off.

‘And you have to start thinking now, ‘what if I don’t get out of this place?’

Drug use is rife in the prison and some substances are widely circulated.

“If you want to become a heroin addict in Belmarsh, you can get a bag of heroin easier than a pillow,” said Noel ‘Razor’ Smith, who was sentenced to eight concurrent life sentences with a minimum of 11 years for robberies. armed hand said.

Daniel Marczewski, who served multiple short sentences for various drug-related offenses, said, “There will always be guys on the wing, vying for hierarchy and selling and smuggling drugs.”

He explained that inmates turn to drugs to escape the realities of prison.

‘If you can’t get through the wall, you can escape another way. I have seen men fighting, going crazy and harassing each other. He went from heroin to any drug and then Spice came in and that was just the rag,” she said.

Spice is a cocktail of chemicals mixed with plants, often referred to as synthetic cannabis, but much more addictive.

Dr. Sohom Das, a consultant psychiatrist, said: “Spice is very popular in prison because it is so easy to smuggle.” It can be transferred to a child’s drawings, for example.

Frake described the other methods used to smuggle drugs behind bars.

“Fake lawyers are coming, bringing God knows what,” he said.

‘Putting drugs in babies’ diapers, in toddlers’ clothes, or drugs on the end of a cotton fishing line so they can swallow them and retrieve them.’

Moazzam Begg, who was charged with terrorism and held in Belmarsh for seven months on remand in 2014, said:

Moazzam Begg, who was charged with terrorism and held in Belmarsh for seven months on remand in 2014, said: “Now you are essentially in the closest thing to a grave, to a coffin.”

Drugs have devastating effects on the prison population and lead to more violent clashes between inmates.

A terrifying form of prison torture involves “playing”, or pouring boiling sugar water on a rival, causing severe burns.

Michael Lothan, a drug user and drug dealer who served several short sentences in Belmarsh for various drug-related offences, has revealed that he was “conned” when a drug deal went wrong.

I went to his cell, lost my temper, ended up beating him up. I said, ‘When you came to me, I gave it to you, I never kept you waiting, go and fix it,'” Lothan recounted.

‘He left. He was sitting and I see his head peeking through the door, he had a big mug and he threw it at me. I could see the bubbles coming out of my skin.

Lothan, who is black, continued: ‘The pain, it was on fire. I felt the shirt I had ripping. I took off my shirt and when I looked in the mirror it was white.

HMP Belmarsh, in Thamesmead, South East London, houses Category A criminals. Category A criminals are considered to be the most dangerous to society, and Belmarsh convicts include terrorists, murderers, thieves, drug dealers, as well as drug offenders. blue collar and white collar.

HMP Belmarsh, in Thamesmead, South East London, houses Category A criminals. Category A criminals are considered to be the most dangerous to society, and Belmarsh convicts include terrorists, murderers, thieves, drug dealers, as well as drug offenders. blue collar and white collar.

Former drug baron Andrew Pritchard, who was sent to Belmarsh after police found £1m worth of cocaine in his possession, spoke of the “kill or be killed culture”.

He once saw a fellow inmate use a tuna can lid as a weapon.

He explained: “I was in the cell and across from where we were, another guy was sitting, you know, having dinner.

‘The guy just came down the stairs very casually. In his hand, he had a tuna tapa.

‘If you take a nail clipper, you can use it to cut open the tuna. But also what it does is create a jagged edge around the lid.

“He literally walked towards the [man in the] cell and it started from here,” he said, pointing to his scalp, “he put it in his head, it went through, the bone was open, it went through his eye, it split open, it went down his cheek and through his mouth . and she came out.

‘Casual like one day, I just went upstairs, a trail of blood going down.’

These acts of violence occur despite the heavy security cameras around the prison.

Ferdinand Achom, a defense attorney, went to Belmarsh to visit several of his clients.

“You’re in the movie basically the whole time you’re in it,” he said.

‘It’s the only prison I go to where there are cameras even in the consultation room. The last thing we want to do is interfere or manipulate the administration of justice, we don’t want to break the law, I always find it intrusive to have a camera on my head.

George Shipton, a former prison guard, said the cameras don’t deter violent gang members.

“They’re caught on camera, they don’t care,” he said.

Former Tory MP Jonathan Aitken, who also appears in the documentary, spent several months of his 18-month sentence for perjury in 1999 in Belmarsh.

He compared the prison to the ‘wild west gone wrong’ and recalled hearing men crying at night in the prison area known as ‘Beirut’, a place where criminals wait to be sectioned off.

Speaking of the efforts of prison staff to work on the rehabilitation of Belmarsh prisoners, Vanessa Frake said that they had a lot of work ahead of them.

“Lack of education, lack of work, drugs, it all combines to lead to crime,” he said.

He said prison staff don’t have the capacity to address all of these problems, which is why offenders keep going back to prison after being released.

HMP Belmarsh: Maximum Security airs tonight at 9pm on Channel 5.

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