Prisoners caught with mobile phones in searches

By Liam Heylin

Two prisoners at Cork Prison were caught in possession of mobile phones during routine searches and each got a two-month term added his sentence.

Detective Garda Kevin O’Donnell testified that on August 25, an officer at Cork Prison was carrying out a routine search of prisoner Shane Casey.

Casey was found in possession of a black HMP mobile phone. Detective Garda Danielle Hegarty and Detective Garda John Gleeson met him at the prison and he was co-operative.

“Shane Casey has already been punished by means of a P19 and lost privileges for 14 days,” Det Garda O’Donnell told Cork District Court yesterday.

A P19 is an internal disciplinary procedure in prison.

Casey, aged 27, of 11 Assumption Village, Passage West, pleaded guilty,

to the charge

under the Prisons Act, 2007, of possessing a mobile phone without permission of the governor of the prison.

Diarmuid Kelleher, defending, said Casey made full admissions and was cooperative. He said the defendant had background mental-health difficulties and heroin and alcohol addiction.

In another search, a second prisoner was caught with a mobile phone.

Warren McGrath, aged 21, whose address was given as St Vincent’s hostel, Anglesea Terrace, Cork, pleaded guilty to this offence. 

Det Garda O’Connell gave similar evidence in respect of McGrath: “On April 2 at around 2pm, a prison officer at Cork prison searched Warren McGrath at the reception area in Cork prison. He was caught with a black Alcatel One Touch mobile phone. This was seized by the prison officer.”

Frank Buttimer, solicitor, said the facts were accepted by McGrath but added that he did not even have the benefit of the phone in prison because it did not function as a result of a fault with the SIM card.

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