Prison nurse drug smuggler is struck off
A FORMER prison nurse who was caught smuggling Spice into another jail has been struck off.
Elsie Watson was working as a mental health nurse at HMP Durham in August 2016 when she was caught with the psychoactive drug while visiting her grandson at HMP Holme House, in Stockton.
Watson, from Seaham, County Durham, was jailed as one of Britain’s oldest drug smugglers last year when a judge locked her up for six months.
Judge Stephen Ashurst gave the then-68-year-old a warning about the dangerous effects of Spice on both prisoners and prison staff, which he said she “well knew”.
Now, a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) panel has ruled Watson should be permanently removed from the nursing register following her conviction for possessing a psychoactive substance with intent to supply.
At the time of the offence she had been working at HMP Durham for 29 years.
Despite acknowledging the striking off order “would mark an unfortunate end to Miss Watson’s long nursing career”, the NMC panel ruled is was the “appropriate and proportionate response”.
A report of the hearing said: “In the panel’s judgment, the seriousness of Miss Watson’s actions was exacerbated by her role as psychiatric nurse and her knowledge of working for many years in a prison environment.
“Miss Watson would have known the effect of Spice on inmates and colleagues.”