A Laois man serving time in the Midlands Prison who was caught with a mobile phone in jail has been given a two month sentence.
At last week’s sitting of Portlaoise District Court, Peter Fleming (28), originally of Castletown but currently c/o the Midlands Prison, was charged with having a phone in prison, on January 1 this year.
Garda Detective Michael O’Donovan gave evidence that the accused made no reply when charged.
Det O’Donovan said that on the date of the offence, the accused was searched after an altercation at the prison and a small fob phone was found on him.
Judge Alan Mitchell asked was the presence of mobile phones a major problem in prison, to which Det O’Donovan said it was.
The accused had 57 previous convictions. He is currently serving a six-month sentence, and is also due back in the circuit court on June 13 to be sentenced for assaulting an off-duty garda in Mountrath.
Defence, Mr Declan Breen said the accused was very well known to the local court.
He said that at the time of the offence, the accused’s partner had been pregnant so he secured the phone to keep in contact with her.
His partner gave birth in April to a baby girl, said Mr Breen, and it was in that context that Fleming had the phone.
Defence went on to say that the accused had suffered with a very serious drug and alcohol difficulty previously, but had now made lots of contact with addiction services in prison.
“For the first time ever, he’s come to terms with his addiction,” said Mr Breen, adding that the accused is suitable for rehabilitation treatment at the end of his jail sentence.
Judge Mitchell imposed two months in prison on the accused.