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Prison phone smuggler joins ‘customers’ behind bars!

November 16, 2012, 10:40 am

A man was caught trying to hurl parcels containing drugs and mobile phones over the perimeter wall of Birmingham prison – but hes now joined his intended recipients behind bars after being jailed by a court.

CCTV operators spotted Daniel Knight acting suspiciously and hiding in bushes near the Winson Green facility on October 12 last year.

Prison-based police officer DC Jim Farrell (pictured) gave chase and, with assistance from West Midlands Polices dog unit, found the 30-year-old hiding under a car in Talbot Street.

Airtight packages containing drugs, phones and phone accessories were uncovered by sniffer dogs stashed in undergrowth.

A subsequent search of his home by police revealed 17 phone boxes – and the IMEI numbers matched 10 handsets that had previously been seized by prison staff from inmates. Forensic examinations on other packages found inside Birmingham prison also DNA linked them to Knight.

Knight, formerly of Wednesbury Oak Road, Tipton, admitted four counts of conveying items into prison and two further counts of attempting to convey contraband goods.

And at Birmingham Crown Court last week (Nov 8) he was jailed for 18 months.

DC Farrell – who received an award for chasing down and arresting Knight – is part of a team based permanently in the Category B jail tasked with reducing “throw-over” and contraband smuggling offences.

Its the only such prison-based police unit in the country – and is proving hugely successful.

He said: “Were surrounded by criminals…but criminality is no more acceptable here than it is out on the streets in our communities.

“There are rules here and any serious breaches will be investigated. Offenders can expect to be punished – and that may well mean having their stay at her majestys pleasure extended by several months or even years.

“Drugs are illegal in prison and anyone found in possession of a banned substance will be prosecuted. Equally, anyone who tries to ‘convey drugs or phones into the jail – either by hurling it over the perimeter or smuggling it in person – will soon find themselves on the other side of the fence.”

In 2011 there were 236 incidents of drugs, mobile phones or other contraband being thrown over the perimeter walls – but so far this year there have been around 100 such offences.

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