Three men have been jailed and a woman given a suspended sentence after a plot to smuggle drugs and mobile phones through Chorley Hospital and into HMP Garth was foiled by a nurse.
Kevin McLoughlin,55, Bernard Jolly, 37, and Dean Cleworth, 33, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply drugs into prison, along with a further count of conspiracy to supply a restricted article.
Faye Burke also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply the mobile phones to the prisoners.
Preston Crown Court heard Cleworth, who was serving an eight-year sentence for robbery, claimed he had taken an overdose on two separate occasions and was conveyed from the Leyland prison to Chorley Hospital for assessment.
In September 2011, he was found to have 150g of cannabis and 25 subutex tablets – a prescription heroin substitute, along with two mobile phones, hidden on him.
The combined estimated prison value for the items was estimated to up to £25,800 with a further £1,000 wasted on unnecessary ambulances and medical resources.
McLoughlin feigned chest pains and was taken to the hospital in a red Ford Focus, which was spotted by nurse Tracey McGowan, parked in a disabled bay close to the doors of the emergency department on September 11.
When nurse McGowan learned a serving prisoner had been admitted at the same time, she warned security about the vehicle as she feared there may be a plot to help him escape.
She also examined McGowan and discovered his chest pains were entirely bogus, the court heard.
On September 21, Cleworth was returned to the hospital, again claiming to have taken an overdose.
Recorder Timothy Rider, sentencing, said: “It is clear these offences were brought to light by the hospital nurse Tracey McGowan and she is to be commended for her public spiritedness.
“Without doubt, this episode would not have been detected without her.”
McLoughlin, of Kirby Stephen, and Cleworth, of no fixed address, were jailed for 49 weeks.
Jolly, from Swinton, was jailed for 51 weeks, and Burke, of Church Hill Street, Heaton Chapel, was handed a 29-week suspended sentence.