Prison officer who formed relationship with murderer caught smuggling iPhone

A female prison officer who formed a close relationship with an murderous inmate has been jailed after she was caught smuggling cocaine and an iPhone into prison.

Heather McKenzie was working at Shotts Prison in Lanarkshire, Scotland, when she met Zak Malavin.

The knife-wielding killer is currently serving life in prison for the 2010 murder of Andrew Curran, who he stabbed in front of his son in Mary Hill Park in Glasgow.

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Despite his horrific history, McKenzie formed a bond with him and has now been sentenced to six years and three months on the other side of the bars, the Daily Record reports.

It was during a routine cell search when officers found a stash of controlled drugs, the new phone and a SIM card.

And during a hearing at the High Court in Glasgow this week, it was heard how an iPhone can sell for up to £5,000 in prison.

When the phone was searched, messages to McKenzie were found, discussing bringing drugs into the prison, and she had done so six times.

She was paid for doing so, and a box containing £2,500 in cash was found at her home, as was a stash of syringes, steroids, cocaine and benzocaine.

The cash was confiscated, under the proceeds of crime act, and David Green, Procurator Fiscal for Homicide and Major Crime, welcomed the sentence.

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He said: “The public rightly must have confidence in prison officers to uphold the law.

“This individual abused her position and fell far short of the standards of professional conduct the public are entitled to expect from members of her profession.”

A Scottish Prison Service spokesman said: “While the vast majority of our staff adhere to the highest standards of conduct, we are always vigilant to any potential corruption within our establishments.

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“We have an increasing serious and organised crime population, and recently launched our first ever anti-corruption framework, which both supports staff who may be targeted and sets out a framework to assess, monitor, challenge and prevent illicit activity.

“As this case demonstrates, we will always work with Police Scotland to ensure any potential criminality is fully investigated.”

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