Prison guard who smuggled SIM card into HMP Edinburgh escapes jail time

A prison guard who smuggled a phone card into her jail to give to killer Caroline Igoe has escaped a custodial sentence.

By Alexander Lawrie
Monday, 4th October 2021, 5:01 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 11:59 am

Stephanie Frank bought the SIM card and smuggled it into HMP Edinburgh at the start of a shift in March last year.

Frank, 36, handed over the illicit card to Igoe so the jailbird could contact family members who had supposedly taken ill.

The disgraced prison officer then attempted to destroy evidence after the phone card and the receipt were found during a search of Igoe’s cell.

Frank, from Falkirk, gained entry to the prison production room and used a pen to deface the receipt in a bid to cover her tracks.

Frank had previously admitted to giving Igoe a personal communication device and to attempting to damage or destroy an item taken from the prisoner at HMP Edinburgh on March 9 and 10 last year.

She was back in the dock for sentencing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday (MON) where Sheriff Thomas Welsh QC told her she had carried out “a serious offence which could attract a custodial sentence”.

The sheriff added: “In your case there is an alternative but any discount is in the alternative [to custody] being imposed.

Stephanie Frank smuggled a phone card into her jail to give to killer Caroline Igoe.

“In the circumstances I will impose a community payback order.”

Frank was ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work in the community.

Defence solicitor Alan Thomson told the court the offence was “clearly a serious matter” and that Frank had committed “a breach of duty” by smuggling in the phone card.

Mr Thomson said the crime had been “a harebrained scheme” which had been “poorly planned and poorly thought out”.

The lawyer added Frank had cooperated fully with the authorities after she had been caught out.

Previously the court was told Frank is married with a wife and has four step-children.

Fiscal depute Alan Wickham said the prison’s intelligence unit had received “several reports relating to the accused Frank being ‘over familiar’ with Igoe”.

Frank was told by her superiors that Igoe was “a manipulative person” and she should “exercise care with personal information” when speaking to the prisoner.

The court was told Igoe was subsequently found slumped in her cell at around 3.30pm on March 10 last year and an alarm was activated.

Frank attended at the cell and was said to have conducted “an overly thorough” search of the single cell.

The SIM card and receipt were found and it was revealed the top up receipt had been bought from a shop in Bo’Ness the previous day.

A photograph of the receipt was taken by prison staff before it was stored away in the production room.

Later that day Frank asked for access to the room which aroused suspicion from a prison manager.

The manager allowed her in to the room and was said to have “observed her with a pen in hand” and she was trying to “use the pen on an item retrieved from Igoe”.

The incident was reported to the prison’s Head of Operations and Frank was hauled in for a disciplinary meeting.

The court was told Frank had handed over the SIM card “without the prisoner requesting her to do so” as she had been told two of Igoe’s family members had fallen ill.

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