Inmate has his sentence increased for having mobile phone at Leeds prison

A prisoner caught in possession of a mobile phone on his wing at Armley Jail has had his sentence extended.

Wednesday, 31st July 2019, 4:05 pm
Armley Jail

Rici Jowett was arrested after the illegal item was found in his tracksuit pocket during a routine search at the jail in Leeds on October 25 last year.

Jowett's lawyer told Leeds Crown Court how the phone was a 'wing phone' which he had loaned from other prisoners.

Bashir Ahmed, prosecuting, said Jowett, of no fixed address, had 27 previous convictions for 45 offences.

Armley Jail

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The prosecutor said Jowett had convictions drug and dishonesty offences.

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Mr Ahmed handed a victim statement to the court from the jail describing the impact of prisoners possessing mobile phones.

Last week, a similar statement was read out in court on behalf of the prison governor, Martin Dobson, during a the sentencing of a different inmate for the same offence.

Mr Dobson described how mobile phones were often used by inmates to commit further offences and their impact on the jail "could not be underestimated."

Jowett pleaded guilty to possessing a mobile phone in prison.

Kara Frith, mitigating, said Jowett had pleaded guilty to the offence at an early stage.

Ms Frith added: "He says it was a wing phone that he had loaned for the night.

"Having a mobile phone in prison is clearly serious whatever the circumstances.

"He would say that it was essentially a line that he had to keep in touch with his family.

Jowett was given an eight month sentence.

Judge Mushtaq Khokhar said: "You know as well as I do the effects that mobile phones can have in prison.

"They are very very vulnerable communities.

"They can be used for contacting family and loved ones but at the same time they are used to commit further offences

"That is the danger and the reason why they are not permitted."