Prisoner caught with mobile phone claims it was ‘to contact his family’
September 05 2022 02:30 AM
A prison inmate caught with a mobile phone had it to contact his family and not for a “nefarious purpose,” a court heard.
Father-of-two Andrew Byrne was given an extra one month’s jail time when he admitted the offence.
Byrne (35), with an address at Tara Court Square, Proudstown Road, Navan, Co Meath, pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a mobile phone at Wheatfield Prison in west Dublin.
The prosecuting garda told Judge David McHugh that Byrne was found with the phone without permission of the prison governor in an incident on April 9 this year.
The accused had 120 previous convictions and his earliest release date was in May next year, the court heard.
He was “doing well in prison” and did not have the phone for any nefarious purpose, but to communicate with his family, his barrister Ciaran MacLoughlin said.
Judge McHugh made a one-month sentence consecutive to the last day of the prison term Byrne is currently serving.
He granted free legal aid following an application by Mr MacLoughlin.
Unauthorised possession or use of a mobile device in prison is an offence under the Prisons Act.