herald

Tuesday 11 December 2018

Prisoner put phone down shorts when confronted, court is told

Jordan Smyth (20), who is serving time for aggravated burglary,accepted full responsibility for having the phone, the court heard. Stock image
Jordan Smyth (20), who is serving time for aggravated burglary,accepted full responsibility for having the phone, the court heard. Stock image

A young prisoner caught illegally using a mobile phone in his cell has spent all his adult life behind bars, a court was told.

Jordan Smyth (20), who is serving time for aggravated burglary, tried to hide the phone by putting it down his shorts when he was confronted.

Judge Grainne Malone adjourned the case after Smyth's lawyer asked her not to add to the accused's current sentence.

Smyth, of Glenshane Crescent, Tallaght, admitted unlawfully having the phone in his cell at Mountjoy Prison.

Dublin District Court was told that staff carried out routine checks on prisoners on March 1. As they passed Smyth's cell, they saw him holding a mobile phone.

They asked him to hand it over but he put it down his shorts. When told he would be searched, he tried to discard it by throwing it out on to the landing.

The phone was not his, and he had borrowed it to call people outside prison because he had used up his call allowance.

The court heard he had a number of previous convictions, the most serious of which was for aggravated burglary, handed down at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on July 6, 2015.

Remission

He was jailed for eight years, three of which were suspended. He had a release date, with remission, of October 10 this year.

Smyth was just 16 when he went into custody for the burglary in 2014, said his lawyer.

He accepted full responsibility for having the phone and his lawyer asked the judge not to extend his sentence.

Smyth had made good use of his time in prison, completing his Leaving Certificate as well as taking a health and fitness and other courses.

He had a job lined up cleaning vents when he is released from prison.

"He has spent his entire adult life and a significant part of his later teenage years in custody," his lawyer said.

Judge Malone noted that although the defendant pleaded guilty he had done so on a hearing date, after initially contesting the charge.

Four prosecution witnesses had taken the time to come to court, she said.

The judge deferred a decision on the case until supporting documentation was provided to the court.

The case was adjourned until later this month.

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