THE final defendant in the UK’s largest-ever prison conspiracy – which started when a mental health nurse from Barnsley was found with £1m in illegal substances – has been jailed.

Amy Hatfield, 38, formerly of Hawthorne Street in Kingstone, was working as a mental health nurse at HMP Lindholme near Doncaster when she was arrested at the prison.

Hatfield disclosed to Detective Constable Scott Jarvis that she had ‘some stuff’ on her when she was arrested at the prison.

When officers searched Hatfield’s belongings, they found multiple wraps of cannabis, tobacco, anabolic steroids, vials of liquid, MDMA, phones and chargers.

She also had in her possession several bottles of ‘Ribena’, which in fact contained a liquid form of the synthetic cannabinoid spice.

This alone was estimated by prison experts to be worth over £1m.

Hatfield, now of HMP Newhall, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, conspiracy to supply Class B drugs, conspiracy to convey drugs into prison, conspiracy to convey phones into prison, conveying knives into prison and money laundering.

She has been sentenced to total of ten years and two months in prison.

William Francis, 57, of Nottingham, was charged, and pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply Class A drugs, two counts of possession with intent to supply Class B drugs, and conspiracy to convey drugs into prison.

He has been jailed for three years and 11 months.

The 17 people involved have collectively been sentenced to over 88 years in prison.

Detective Sergeant Gareth Gent, who heads up the force’s dedicated Prison Anti-Corruption Unit, said: “The sentencing of Francis marks the end of our unprecedented four-year investigation into a highly complex criminal network operating inside HMP Lindholme.

“A significant amount of work went into piecing together the activities of the network of criminals operating both inside and outside of the prison system, and I am pleased that Francis is joining 13 of his co-conspirators behind bars.

“The smuggling of dangerous and illegal substances into prisons is an extremely serious crime, and we know that the circulation of drugs and other illicit substances in our prisons causes great misery, violence and sadly death.

“Our work to tackle the smuggling of illegal items into prisons does not stop here, and we continue to work alongside partners in the prison service to eliminate this kind of activity in prisons.

“We are steadfast in our commitment to identifying those who exploit that system and will ensure those responsible are met with the full force of the law.”