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Scotland: Heroin and other problems at Premier prison.

DRUG CELLERS Cons rake in profit from behind bars heroin ring
By Charles Lavery

PRISON drug barons are raking in more than 5000 a month selling heroin to fellow inmates.

A Sunday Mail investigation uncovered a supply ring at Bowhouse jail in Kilmarnock.

More than 100 inmates at Scotland's only private prison are hooked on heroin and spend over half their 30-a-week wages on drugs.

The behind-bars drugs ring is controlled by four inmates in the jail's D Wing convicted killers John 'Wudge' Dougherty and Stephen 'Zed' Dempsey and drug smugglers William 'Fat Boy' McLaughlin and Christian Ekkebus.

One guard, too scared to be named, said: "These four control all the drugs in Kilmarnock prison and they are building up a very profitable business."

"Prisoners" wages average 30 to 40 a week and loads of them are giving most of it to these four low- lifes.

"Senior management know who they are but fail time and time again to do anything about it. The drugs problem inside the jail is out of control."

Another officer added: "The cons think they run the place and the staff are unwilling to challenge them."

Prison insiders say that because of the jail's relatively relaxed regime, visitors are able to smuggle in thousands of pounds worth of drugs to the behind- bars barons.

Kilmarnock's D Wing is seen as the cushiest in the jail and houses the prisoners who cause the least trouble.


Random tests fail to pick up the extent of the problem because addicts force drug- free cons to give them 'clean' urine.

Dempsey and Glasgow man Dougherty are both serving life at Bowhouse for murder.

Dempsey, 32, of Mossblown, Ayrshire,was jailed, along with another man, in 2002 for punching, kicking and stabbing dad-of-two Charles McIntosh to death.

Ekkebus, 31, a Dutch sailor, was caged for 14 years after he was caught with 43million worth of cannabis en route from Morocco to the Netherlands.

To avoid patrols in the English Channel his ship detoured round the north of Scotland but he is campaigning to be moved to a jail in Holland, claiming the drugs were never intended to reach Scotland.

McLaughlin, 39, of Port Glasgow, Renfrewshire, was part of a drugs gang jailed in November 2002 after he was caught with a kilo of heroin. He got eight and a half years.

Judge Lord Dawson told them the drugs could have caused "untold misery and death".

In January, cons went on the rampage at Kilmarnock after three people were arrested and charged with trying to smuggle in heroin.

And last year the Ayrshire jail was reported to have the worst crime record of any Scots prison after offences behind bars climbed almost 50 per cent since 1999.

In the year 1999-2000, there were 65 cases of convicts taking, injecting, ingesting or concealing drugs in jail.

By last year, that had risen by 155 per cent to 166.

Last night a spokesman for Premier Prisons, which runs the jail, said: "HMP Kilmarnock takes all allegations of security and drug- taking seriously."

"We would be happy to act on any information supplied to us by the Sunday Mail."

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