FIVE people have appeared in court over the alleged supply of illicit drugs, including the psychoactive substance ‘Spice’, to prison inmates.

It follows attempts to smuggle class B and C substances, plus mobile phones into Durham Prison, on visits by friends and family of inmates, between October 2017, and January last year.

Charges were put to three defendants at Durham Crown Court.

Kelly Raper, the former partner of then serving inmate Nathan Aldus, admitted conspiring with other persons, unknown, to convey prohibited drugs, mobile phones and accessories, into the prison.

Another visitor, aged 16, but 15 at the time, plus serving inmate Daniel John McCardle, both denied the charges.

McCardle, 29, also denied possessing class B and C drugs with intent to supply.

Charges were not put to Aldus, who has since been released from prison, but he will be arraigned at the next hearing.

His mother, Iris Aldus, has previously admitted bringing prohibited list B articles, relating to mobile phones, into the prison.

The case was adjourned until a further management hearing on May 8, with a trial of up to five days for those who deny the offences, starting on July 22.

McCardle, 29, of Coxon Street, Sunderland, will remain in custody until the trial, while Nathan Aldus, 28, was bailed to a hostel in Westmorland Road, Newcastle, and the 16-year-old to live at an address in South Tyneside.

Raper, 38, of The Ridgeway, South Shields, and 46-year-old Iris Aldus, of Grantham, in Lincolnshire, were bailed to return for sentence at the conclusion of the trial of their co-accused.