Mobile phones are currency in prison, court told.
Illegal mobile phones provide a “healthy currency” among inmates at Highpoint Prison, a court has been told.
Appearing before Ipswich Crown Court on Friday was Jason Brown who had tried to smuggle two phone SIM cards and a small quantity of cannabis to a serving prisoner.
Brown, 19, of Parr Road, East Ham, later told investigators that he had been forced to take the banned items into the jail at Stradishall on September 20 last year by someone to whom he owned money.
Prosecuting, Andrew Jackson said a prison officer monitoring CCTV images during a visiting session had spotted something being taken from Brown’s pocket and passed to a prisoner inside an old crisp packet.
Staff immediately intervened and detained Brown. The crisp packet was found to contain a small package containing two mobile phone SIM cards and some cannabis together with spice believed to be intended to mask the smell of the drug.
Mr Jackson said when interviewed Brown admitted what he had done and said he had been picked up by someone he owned money to and driven to Highpoint with instructions to make the delivery.
The illegal presence of mobile phones and associated items such as SIM cards provided a “healthy currency” inside the prison, said Mr Jackson.
Defending, Joanne Eley said that while Brown had a number of previous convictions, none were drug related and he was neither a drug user or dealer.
Miss Eley said Brown had been driven to Highpoint and told he would have to make his own way home afterwards.
Brown claimed not to know what was in the package or the inmate he was told deliver it to, said Miss Eley.
He pleaded guilty to two offences of bringing prohibited articles into a prison in contravention f the 1952 Prisons Act.
Sentencing him to four months custody in a Young Offenders Institution, Mr Recorder Joseph Boothby told Brown: “Taking forbidden items into prison and for the purposes of making money means joining the person you did it for in prison.”
Mr Recorder Boothby said attempts to smuggle banned items into prisons meant there as a need for greater security measures which impacted on innocent visitors who faced long delays and more searches.