Man jailed for throwing mobile phones over Durham prison wall

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A MAN who threw mobile phones over the wall of a prison has been jailed for a year.

Glen Francis was caught throwing two packages of phones to prisoners inside Durham jail, Durham Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Katherine Dunn said the prison authorities were waiting for the packages on each occasion.

“Information had been received that an attempt would be made to throw phones over the wall,” added Ms Dunn. “Francis was caught clearly on CCTV, and on the second occasion was arrested by police after a short chase.

“He told officers he had been refused permission to visit a prisoner, and had decided to throw some stones over the wall for a laugh.”

Francis, 39, admitted conveying a prohibited item into prison on January 13, and January 18, this year.

He has previous convictions for 96 offences, and has spent most of his adult life in prison, the court heard.

Vince Ward, defending, said in mitigation: “His mother died when he was 14, his stepfather left and he was effectively adopted by the criminal community.

“He owed some money to someone in the prison and feared violence would be used against him if he didn’t do as he was asked.”

The Recorder, Mr Martin Bethel QC, jailed Francis, of Beach Road, South Shields, for 12 months.

The recorder said: “Someone with your experience of the prison system knows better than most the difficulties mobile phones in the hands of prisoners can cause to the smooth running of the jail.