Prisoner says iPhone hidden in Xbox console ‘didn’t belong to him’

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A Liverpool man has been found with an iPhone hidden in his Xbox console and drugs in his jail cell.

John Barr, from Southwood Road in Liverpool, appeared in Mold Crown Court on Monday for possession of drugs and a mobile phone without permission. He was a prisoner at HMP Berwyn in North Wales when he was arrested, Live reports from North Wales.

Mr Paulinus Barnes, prosecuting, said Barr’s joint cell was searched on February 4 this year. Cannabis resin casings were found by prison officers on the 28-year-old man and further inspection revealed the iPhone and charger hidden inside his game console.

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A sheet of spice paper was found hidden in a newspaper under his bed mattress, but in a statement from Barr he denied that the paper and the phone belonged to him. He added that the cannabis was for “personal use”.

The court heard how the value of drugs was inflated in prisons and that the estimated value within prison walls of anything recovered would be around £700. In defence, Ms Kate Morley, said Barr was making “great progress” since her recent release from Berwyn and asked the judge to opt for an alternative sentence.

Judge Niclas Parry agreed Barr was making progress, but stressed it was nothing short of a “serious” matter. He said: “These drugs cause bullying and poor discipline in prison. All the work everyone does to help prisoners rehabilitate is wasted.

“There is no suggestion that you are using this phone for anything illegal. But nonetheless, phones in prison are used to intimidate witnesses to crimes on the outside and to intimidate people on the inside “You just got out of jail and any custodial sentence should be brief, so I have two choices. Do I interfere with your progress on license for the sake of firing you for a few months?”

The judge went on to say he felt capable of suspending the eight-month prison sentence for the next year and 180 hours of unpaid work was also ordered.

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