Ilford solicitor who smuggled drugs into prison by stuffing them in oversized shoes jailed for six years

A crooked Ilford solicitor who smuggled drugs and mobile phones into two prisons in his hugely oversized shoes has been jailed for six years today.

Ritesh Brahmbhatt, 31, of Wanstead Park Road, went pale as he stood face-to-face with a line of sniffer dogs as he came in to north London’s Pentonville prison.

The animals caught him with packages containing skunk, mephedrone and electronic scales inside his size 12 wide-fitting shoes.

The black, metal-buckled slip-ons were at least three sizes two big for the lawyer, Blackfriars Crown Court heard.

Brahmbhatt bought his size 12s in a branch of High and Mighty, which specialises in outsize menswear and was planning to pass the contraband to inmate David Sterling, 28, who was wearing a full-length Muslim robe.


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The lawyer admitted two plots between March 1 and September 17, 2009, and taking a mobile phone into Winchester prison while on bail for those offences, on February 2 last year.

He had been planning another smuggling operation just five months after he was caught the first time, when he returned to the same shop to put in an order for more massive shoes.

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The smuggling racket helped fuel a lucrative black market prison trade.

Nearly �20,000 passed through bank accounts belonging to Brahmbhatt, 24-year-old Danielle Porter and two others before the racket was smashed.

Judge Deva Pillay sentenced Sterling for five years and Porter for three years.

He told Brahmbhat: “You are a devious, conniving and unprinicipled individual who would stop at nothing or allow no one to get in the way of you criminal ambition.”

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