Drugs boss Gary Hardy loses bid to attend brother Paul’s funeral

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CONVICTED drugs boss Gary Hardy has been denied temporary leave from prison to attend his brother Paul’s funeral on Friday.

Paul died last month while still serving his own sentence for high-profile drug offences.

The pair played key roles in an organised operation which flooded Mansfield and Ashfield with illegal drugs.

Both were locked up after a high-profile 2008 trial, which attracted national attention.

Gary, serving a 20-year term for heading the operation, enquired about leave from the high security HMP Full Sutton in Yorkshire to go to Friday’s service.

But Chad understands he has been told he will not be allowed out due to security and safety requirements.

Paul died on 13th January aged 51 while at Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre.

He had been admitted to hospital while still serving his 12-year sentence at HMP Lowdham Grange, near Nottingham.

The opening of an inquest into his death was told he suffered a haemorrhage as a result of a kidney problem. He also had prostate cancer.

Paul’s funeral is scheduled to take place at St Wilfrid’s Church in Kirkby on Friday.

A prison service spokesman declined to discuss Gary Hardy’s case specifically this week but said: “Some prisoners can apply for compassionate release on temporary licence to attend the funeral of a close relative, but it will always be subject to a strict risk assessment where public protection is key.

“Those who aren’t able to attend will be supported by the prison, including the option for a private act of remembrance in the prison chapel.”

HMP Full Sutton is a maximum security prison for men of ‘category A’ and ‘category B’ status who are judged a higher escape risk.

Paul Hardy, then of Willow Avenue in Kirkby, was jailed in September 2008 for conspiracy to supply heroin, amphetamines, cannabis and possessing criminal property.

He was also convicted of collecting hundreds of thousands of pounds of drugs money across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

Gary, then of The Copse, Mansfield, headed up the operation and was convicted of bringing in huge amounts of drugs to the area from 2000 to 2007.

He was convicted of conspiracy to supply heroin and amphetamines, money laundering and possession of criminal property.

The brother’s mother June, then 66, and formerly of Pearl Avenue in Kirkby, also served three years after being convicted of storing drug money, amphetamines and cannabis.

Paul’s former partner Zoe Chapman, then 29 and also of Willow Avenue, received 42 months for supplying amphetamine to a dealer.

The inquest into Paul’s death and an investigation by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman are being held as part of standard procedures following a death in custody.