Ilford solicitor who smuggled drugs into prison in oversized shoes facing jail

A crooked Ilford solicitor who smuggled drugs and mobile phones into two prisons in his hugely oversized shoes is �facing years behind bars.

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.

He had bought the size 12s days before 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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Brahmbhatt, who is suspended by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority, admitted two plots between March 1 and September 17, 2009, and a further charge of taking a mobile phone into �Winchester prison while on bail for those offences, on February 2 last year.

The smuggling racket was helping fuel a lucrative black market prison trade.

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

Sterling, fellow prisoner Desmond Brown, 27, his girlfriend Porter and 26-year-old Calvin Chance were convicted of �conspiracy to convey articles �including drugs and mobile phones into jail after a trial.

The gang was exposed after on-the-ball prison officer Lucy McLaren noticed Brahmbhatt’s suspiciously high number of legal visits to Sterling.

She arranged a surprise sniffer operation for his last �appointment.

Brahmbhatt has admitted two conspiracies, each relating to drugs and phones, into prison, and a further charge of conveying a mobile phone into Winchester prison.

Further mitigation for Brahmbhatt is due to be heard tomorrow, but sentencing is expected to be adjourned to a later date.

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