Sunderland ex-soldier jailed for smuggling drugs into prison

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A FORMER soldier who smuggled drugs into a jail has been locked up for two years.

Philip Cawthorne, 26, of Roker Avenue, Sunderland, was caught trying to take cocaine, cannabis resin and a prescription painkiller into HMP Acklington in Northumberland on March 13.

He was collared when search dogs sniffed out his illegal stash as he waited to visit a prisoner.

The court heard Cawthorne initially refused to be searched but eventually handed over a package containing the drugs.

He pleaded guilty to three charges of conveying an article into a prison and possessing a small amount of cannabis bush which was found at his home, for his personal use.

His pleas were on the basis he believed it was just cannabis, which he had agreed to take into prison to pay off a debt.

Stuart Graham, defending, told the court Cawthorne was discharged from the Army on medical grounds and has struggled to rejoin society since.

Mr Graham said: “He went in as a boy soldier. His family really was the Army and he had to leave.

“He has not fitted in well and become an isolated person, living in a bedsit, smoking cannabis.”

Judge Jeremy Freedman jailed Cawthorne for two years.