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Sunday 4 December 2016

Prisoner had mobile phone to call mum

Blanchardstown district court

Clive Sweeney (31) claimed he had the mobile phone because he wanted to keep in touch with his mother who was sick with cancer
Clive Sweeney (31) claimed he had the mobile phone because he wanted to keep in touch with his mother who was sick with cancer

A MAN who had a mobile phone while serving a spell in prison has been given a two-month suspended sentence.

Clive Sweeney (31) claimed he had the mobile phone because he wanted to keep in touch with his mother who was sick with cancer, Blanchardstown District Court has heard.

Sweeney, of Drumcairn Avenue, Tallaght, pleaded guilty to being in possession of a mobile phone without the permission of the governor of Wheatfield Prison.

Gda Stephen Cullen gave evidence that Sweeney was serving a three-year sentence for possession of stolen property at the time of the offence.

He said a prison officer observed Sweeney using the mobile phone while he was in his cell and when two officers entered the cell to retrieve the phone, Sweeney, who has 63 previous convictions, tried to drop it.

Defence barrister Ciaran McLoughlin said Sweeney's partner is expecting a baby soon and he is currently unemployed.

"There is no suggestion the phone was used for criminal enterprises and he wasn't using it for anything other than to ascertain how his mother, who was ill with cancer, was," he added.

Judge David McHugh said "were it the case that he was still serving a sentence, I would be jailing him today", adding that Mr McLoughlin's mitigation helped sway his mind to give Sweeney a two-month sentence which he suspended for 12 months.

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