Ex-soldier smuggled drugs into prison

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A FORMER soldier who smuggled drugs into a prison has been told he will be jailed.

Philip Cawthorne, who previously served with the Royal Logistics Corps, took cocaine, cannabis resin and a prescription painkiller into HMP Acklington, in Northumberland, on March 13.

At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday the 26-year-old, of Roker Avenue, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to three charges of conveying an article into prison.

He also admitted possession of cannabis bush for his personal use.

Judge James Goss, QC, adjourned the case until next month for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.

Judge Goss said: “This will enable you to get together such medals you have that you wish to be placed before the court.” However, the judge warned him: “Please understand, you will have been told these are serious offences for which a prison sentence is inevitable.

“You are going to get a prison sentence, so don’t think the fact I am adjourning for a pre-sentence report and granting you bail means you are not getting a prison sentence, because you are.

“The only question is how long that sentence will be.”

The court heard Cawthorne, who has since found work at Nissan, faces a maximum 10 years behind bars for the offences.

He was granted bail until the next hearing.

Stuart Graham, defending, said Cawthorne “has not managed to fit back into society” after leaving the army, where he served around the world since joining as a “boy soldier”, including tours of Iraq and Northern Ireland.

Mr Graham said: “Because of a medical condition, he took up using cannabis.

“The cannabis dealer he was receiving cannabis from simply asked him to take these into prison.”

Mr Graham said due to moving from home to home, Cawthorne has just his service medal to show for his years serving his country. He added: “He has lost most of his service record and all the documentation relating to the army.

“He does still have his service medal.”