A woman tried to smuggle cocaine and ketamine for her prisoner boyfriend.

Lucy D’Cruze hid the drugs in a male toilet at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton for convicted robber Michael Beirne.

Beirne, 41, was transported to the hospital from Lewes Prison under escort for medical reasons and had already arranged the drop-off with his girlfriend using the prison telephones.

One of the guards escorting him searched the bathroom before he went in and found the drugs hidden in blue capsules wrapped in tissue.

CCTV at the hospital showed D’Cruze, 47, going into the male toilets with 3.1 grams of ketamine, a dissociative anaesthetic, and just over two grams of cocaine.

Lewes Crown Court sitting in Brighton heard yesterday that the cocaine had a street value of £200 but this was worth around £800 in prison, while the ketamine had a street value between £50 and £90 which could have been worth up to £810 in prison.

D’Cruze, who had no previous convictions, went to the hospital on two separate occasions on August 31 and September 1, 2022.

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She dropped the drugs off on the first day but Beirne’s hospital visit was postponed so she was made to pick them back up and drop them off at the gent’s toilets the next day.

The court heard that D’Cruze, of Bronte Drive, Pevensey, “felt pressured” to smuggle the drugs into the hospital because of threats against her boyfriend who was said to be the “weakest link”.

Prisoners bullied Beirne because of a facial tick he had. The court heard that prisoners even tried to set fire to him in his cell and attacked him in Lewes Prison, including on Christmas Day.

Threats to Beirne were reported in the prison but a lack of response and support from prison staff made Beirne feel as though he had little option but to attempt to bring drugs in, the court heard.

As a result of the attacks, Beirne was moved to HMP Rochester, but issues persisted and he was bullied by prison guards who mimicked his tick.

Three staff members have been suspended because of the bullying.  A prison officer who was present in the room with Beirne also confirmed this.

Yesterday, Beirne appeared via video link from HMP Rochester.

The Argus: Lucy D'Cruze smuggled cocaine and ketamine into the Royal Sussex County HospitalLucy D'Cruze smuggled cocaine and ketamine into the Royal Sussex County Hospital (Image: Google Maps/Google Streetview)

Richard Elliott, defending for Beirne, said: “He was bullied by prison officers and prisoners in Rochester. Three prison officers were suspended because of this.

“He was an easy target to bring these drugs in. He was forced into doing so.”

Rachael Beckett, defending for D’Cruze, said: “This offence has had a significant effect on her and her mental health.

“She felt that she had to take those drugs to the hospital. It was because they threatened Beirne. He appears to be the weakest link within the prison and she was the weakest link outside.”

Both defendants pleaded guilty to four counts of attempting to bring a prohibited article into a prison on behalf of a prisoner.


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Judge Jeremy Gold KC sentenced Beirne to 15 months for each of the four counts to run concurrently with each other. The 15 months is consecutive to his current 75-month prison sentence which was due to end in June next year.

Judge Gold ruled that D’Cruze only became involved “out of genuine concern” for her partner. He said he would take an “exceptional course” by suspending the 15-month sentence for her. Her sentence is suspended for two years, she also has to do 150 hours of unpaid work and rehabilitation sessions.

He added: “The possession of drugs in prisons causes disorder and leads to bullying in prison. Michael Beirne was and still is a prisoner, he said he was bullied and subjected to violence to do this. Lucy D’Cruze did this due to concern for his safety.

“Michael Beirne has an appalling criminal record.”