A planned search of a cell by officers at Cork Prison resulted in a mobile phone being found in a prisoner’s underpants.
Garda Kevin O’Donnell said gardaí had been alerted by staff at Cork Prison that the phone had been found on the prisoner.
John Murray, aged 33, with a previous address at Hollywood Estate, Blarney Rd, Cork, pleaded guilty yesterday to possession of a mobile phone at Cork Prison on July 17, without permission of the prison governor.
Diarmuid Kelleher, solicitor, submitted that Murray had already suffered as a result of this offence as prison privileges had been removed from him for two months as punishment within the prison.
Mr Kelleher said Murray had what is known as a P19 imposed on him in the prison. This meant he had no recreation facilities for two months and, for the same period, he had to wear prison-issue clothing rather than his own clothes. He was also not allowed to use the prison shop for the same period.
Mr Kelleher argued that the prisoner had already been punished and he asked Judge Con O’Leary not to punish him further by extending his period in prison.
Murray is serving a prison sentence for storing drugs and that is not due to be completed until April 2018.
Judge O’Leary said that if he imposed a jail term, it would have to be consecutive to the time being served. Instead he imposed a €300 fine on Murray.
Inspector Mary King was granted an order for the destruction of the mobile phone.
Garda O’Donnell said the phone was found during a planned search of Murray’s cell. He was later taken from the prison to be interviewed at Mayfield Garda Station where he admitted possession of the phone.
Murray told gardaí during this interview, and repeated through his solicitor yesterday, that his only reason for having the phone was in an attempt to maintain contact with his children.
Judge O’Leary wanted to know how Murray got his hands on a phone in prison.
Murray told gardaí he had brought the phone into the prison with him after a court appearance shortly before the search was conducted.
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