WATCH - Suffolk prisoner posts video to YouTube on BANNED mobile phone
PUBLISHED: 11:18 20 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:24 20 November 2018
An inmate at Highpoint Prison in Suffolk has made a mockery of the justice system after posting a YouTube video from a mobile phone in his cell.
A Ministry of Justice investigation is underway after it was discovered Suffolk prisoner Karl Gardner posted a video to YouTube showing him rapping about prison life.
The video, which is still live, shows Gardner freestyling on a banned mobile phone at Highpoint Prison in Stradishall, near Bury St Edmunds.
It was posted six days ago under the pseudonym Charlie Green, from the account ‘CharlieGreen Snow&theWeed’ – which has two subscribers.
Gardner was jailed for five years and four months after filming himself making threats to kill while armed with an imitation gun and bullets.
The 27-year-old, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to possession of an imitation firearm with intent, making threats to kill, and being in possession of cannabis in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, on August 27, 2017.
He was sentenced at Basildon Crown Court on December 6, 2017. His likely release date was listed as June 6, 2020.
During the video, Gardner performs a rap about prison life for just over two-and-a-half minutes – featuring lyrics such as: “Every day’s the same, I gotta deal with this monotony. Life is just a game, call it drug monopoly.”
Below the video, users can be seen commenting on the content and referencing Gardner’s case. One user, John Adams, wrote: “Free Charlie”.
Gardner was also posting content to the social media site Instagram before the prison service requested his account was removed.
One post, featuring a video of Gardner rapping, was shared by another user with the caption: “watch this space big man things!!! @xcharliexgreenx #nextbigthing #jailhousefreestlye #freedomisamust”.
A Prison Service spokeswoman said using a mobile phone in prison is “never tolerated” and the service was working with YouTube to remove the account.
“This behaviour is unacceptable,” the spokeswoman said.
“The Instagram account has been removed and we are working with YouTube to remove this account. Anyone found behaving this way can expect to spend significantly longer behind bars.
“The use of mobile phones in prison is never tolerated which is why we are investing an extra £70 million bolstering safety and security with new airport-style scanners, detection dogs, enhanced perimeter searches and phone-blocking technology.”
The use of banned mobile phones is an ongoing problem in prisons across the region.
In 2017, it was revealed that hundreds of drugs, knives and mobile phones had been confiscated in Suffolk prisons, amid a surge in the amount of contraband being found.
Officers found 237 mobile phones and 176 chargers at Highpoint in 2016/17, while 88 mobile phones and 19 sim cards were discovered at Hollesley Bay.
At the time, the Ministry of Justice said the recovery of these banned items would help thwart attempts by criminals to continue committing crime behind bars.
In August of this year, it was reported more than 20 mobile phones are confiscated from prisoners every day in jails in England and Wales.
Prison officers seized a total of 17,672 handsets that had been smuggled into jails between January 2016 and March 2018.