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Inmate caught with mobile phone in Shropshire jail

North Shropshire | News | Published:

An inmate at Shropshire's only jail was caught using a mobile phone in his cell by prison officers after they used a detection device, a court heard.

Girre Girre is currently serving a four-year prison sentence for robbery at HMP Stoke Heath, near Market Drayton.

Prison officers who were carrying out mobile detection tests traced a call to Girre's cell on August 11 last year, Telford Magistrates Court heard yesterday.

Mr Mike Phillips, prosecuting, said they had been using a mobile phone detector.

When 19-year-old Girre was caught he handed the phone over to a prison officer.

Mr Phillips said he fully admitted what had happened when interviewed.

Girre pleaded guilty to being in possession of a device capable of transmitting or receiving images, sounds or information by electronic communications – an offence under the 1952 Prison Act.

He appeared via video link from HMP Stoke Heath and spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth, address and plea to the single charge during the hearing yesterday. Mr Shaun Davies, for Girre, said he had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

He told the court that Girre was due to be released from prison in four to five weeks time and arrangements had already been made for his accommodation in the London area.

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Mr Davies said: "This is a case of a single mobile phone use in a cell. There's no evidence he has used it on a large scale.

"The reason he used the phone was to ring his brother who was in hospital at the time."

He said his brother had been severely ill and Girre seized an opportunity through the "black market" of the prison to make a phone call.

Mr Davies added that he had been fully cooperative throughout the investigation.

Magistrates said they had given Girre credit for his early guilty plea. Girre was handed a six-month prison sentence, to run concurrently to his existing jail term, and he was also ordered by magistrates to pay an £80 victim surcharge.

The case comes after police revealed in January that drugs and mobile phones were being thrown into the prison grounds. They said a number of offenders had been throwing prohibited items over the fence. Two men were arrested in the same month in connection with carrying out the offence, which is punishable by up to two years in prison.

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