A JURY is expected to retire today to consider whether prisoners, their girlfriends and prison officers conspired to smuggle drugs and mobile phones into a jail.

Barristers defending the girlfriends and relatives of prisoners made their closing defence statements to the jury yesterday and argued they were not involved in the plot.

Sabrina Burdfield, Sarah Hall, Sheryl Donegan, Katie Rudd and Danielle Henry are all accused of playing a part in a plot to smuggle prohibited items into Lewes Prison between 2014 and 2015.

A jury at Hove Crown Court was told they were involved in making phone calls and sending text messages to each other and transferring large sums of cash between bank accounts.

But the defendants’ barristers said there was a lack of phone records and banking evidence that directly implicated them.

Mark Kessler, defending Ms Hall, said that there was “no real evidence of her communicating with any of the other defendants” or others connected with the trial, apart from with her partner, inmate Darren Burdfield and his mother.

Defending Ms Burdfield, Andrew Stephens said: “The accusation she is involved in this conspiracy is practically laughable.

“There is no evidence that she was brought into a plot by her son.”

Ms Donegan’s defence barrister, Charlotte Morrish, said that the numerous bank transfers made between her and her partner Daniel Sallis were “not proof of a conspiracy”, considering they “now have four children together”.

Katie Rudd, the former girlfriend of inmate Simon Khalil, previously told jurors she would pick up packages of steroids and cash in Crowborough before delivering them to a car in Heathfield.

However, she told the court she did not know the packages were destined for prison. She added that she thought steroids were legal.

Danielle Henry, sister of inmate Dorian Henry, denied she had any knowledge the money her brother would store in her daughter’s account was linked to items being smuggled.

Prison officers Ricky Bridger and Simon Taylor are accused of bringing cocaine, spice, steroids and mobile phones to prisoners Mr Burdfield, Simon Penton, Mr Khalil, Ms Henry and former inmate Mr Sallis.

Bridger, 54, of The Oaks, Heathfield, previously told jurors he had been “under pressure” to take a package to Lewes Prison where he worked.

Bridger was caught with a Pringles tube containing a mobile phone and cocaine in his car boot but said in his defence that he had changed his mind about bringing it into the jail.

Mr Taylor, 28, of West Way, Wick, admitted to the court he had taken the then legal high spice into jail but claimed he was not part of a wider plot. Taylor was in possession of cocaine when arrested in a pub in October 2014. When police searched his home they found bundles of drugs and two mobile phones. At around the same time, Mr Taylor received a payment of £700 from Ms Burdfield, the court heard.

All deny conspiring to convey prohibited items into prison apart from Dorian Henry who previously pleaded guilty. The trial continues.