'˜They can be used to plot escapes': Prisoner slammed by Leeds judge for hiding phone in bottoms

A prisoner who was caught with a mobile phone in his cell at Armley jail has had his sentence extended.

Saturday, 28th April 2018, 3:53 pm
Updated Saturday, 28th April 2018, 3:56 pm
Armley Prison

Carl Rutherford, 28, was caught with the device when specialist search officers were asked to visit his cell at HMP Leeds.

Leeds Crown Court heard Rutherford was told he was going to be searched and was asked to remove his clothing.

Robert Galley, prosecuting, said officers found the mobile inside a rubber casing inside the pocket of his tracksuit bottoms.

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Rutherford pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited item within a prison. At the time of the offence Rutherford had been recalled to prison after breaching the terms of his licence.

Rutherford has a criminal record dating back to 2007 when he was given an indeterminate prison sentence for wounding and robbery.

He also has previous convictions for attempted theft, harassment and public order offences.

Andrew Stranex, mitigating, said Rutherford had pleaded guilty to the offence at the earliest possible stage. He had his privileges reduced within prison for 28 days after being caught with the phone. Judge Penelope Belcher imposed a sentence of 32 weeks.

The judge said: “The possession of mobile phones in prison is a serious offence.

“Prisoners can make contact with the outside world totally unmonitored and they are known to facilitate drugs. They can be used to plot escapes and all sorts of matters.”

Rutherford was handed an indeterminate sentence and ordered to serve a minimum for four and a half years in 2008 over a horrific attack on a 42-year-old in Valley Gardens, Harrogate. He carried out the targeted attack with two other men.