Mum got partner to sneak steroids to son in prison because she was worried he was being bullied

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A mother got her partner to take packages of steroids into prison for her son because she though he was being bullied by other prisoners, a court heard.

Marion Howe and Mark Schofield appeared not to realise they were being watched on camera in the visiting area as Schofield handed over one package and tried to hide another.

Ieuan Bennett, prosecuting, said: “It did not appear to be a particularly sophisticated effort to smuggle drugs into the prison.”

Cardiff Crown Court heard the incident happened at HM Parc Prison in Bridgend on March 7, 2019.

Mr Bennett said Howe’s son was a serving prisoner at the time and they went to visit him, with Schofield carrying in two packages.

He handed one of the packages to the prisoner over the table in the visiting room. The prisoner put it down his trousers and hid it inside his body.

The court heard prison staff were there “within seconds” and he was taken away from the visiting room. He was searched, but that package was never recovered.

Howe and Schofield were escorted to a waiting area, still being filmed. Mr Bennett said it was “obvious” Schofield tried to dispose of the second package behind a bench.

That package was found to contain 21 Class C steroid tablets, commonly used for body building, valued between £75 and £100 in the prison setting.

The police were called and Schofield immediately admitted what he had done, but Howe was “less open”.

She later stated she thought her son was being bullied and she did not think through the consequences of her actions.

Mr Bennett said they both had “antiquated” convictions and nothing related to drugs.



Marion Howe

Howe, 57, from High Street in Pontypridd, admitted four counts of conveying a List A prohibited item into prison.

Rosamund Rutter, for Howe, said her client had medical conditions and asked for any prison sentence to be suspended, not immediate.

She pointed out the delay, after Howe was arrested in March 2019 and did not appear in the crown court until May 2020, leaving the case “hanging over her head”.



Mark Schofield

Schofield, 49, from the same address, admitted the same offences. Andrew Kendall, for Schofield, said he would not argue against a suspended sentence.

Judge Richard Williams said: “This case should have been before the court months earlier, if not a year earlier.”

He told the defendants: “You can thank the advocates because I have changed my mind. I am going to suspend the prison sentences you will both get. You will not be going into prison today.”

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The judge pointed out there were prominent signs in the prison, warning visitors they must not take prohibited items in. He added such items pose a “serious threat to order and discipline”.

Howe was given a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for a year, and ordered to complete 15 days of rehabilitation.

Schofield was given eight months, suspended for a year, and must complete six days of rehabilitation, plus an alcohol treatment programme.



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