Teenager tried to send drugs to inmate

A TEENAGER who tried to smuggle drugs into prison by wrapping cannabis in his pay slip narrowly escaped a jail sentence yesterday.The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been worried that a friend was being bullied at Warren Hill closed prison for young offenders at Hollesley, near Woodbridge.

A TEENAGER who tried to smuggle drugs into prison by wrapping cannabis in his pay slip narrowly escaped a jail sentence yesterday.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been worried that a friend was being bullied at Warren Hill closed prison for young offenders at Hollesley, near Woodbridge.

He decided to send cannabis leaf in his payslip in an envelope with a note to his friend, Ipswich Youth Court was told.

However, a prison officer in the mailroom found the correspondence. The letter said: ''I hope you like the weed. I hope it gets through.''


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The teenager admitted trying to supply drugs on April 16 and he admitted assaulting a police officer who came to arrest him a few days later in connection with the discovery of the drugs. The officer was slightly injured and he was put on restricted duties for three shifts.

The teenager was given a two-year supervision order and a curfew for six months. He is not allowed out from 7pm to 6am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and for the rest of the week he has to be at home from 8pm to 6am. He was also told to pay the injured officer £50 in compensation, and £45 towards the court costs.

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The magistrates had been given guidelines for sentencing of such offences and they were told that adults who sent or took in drugs to prison were normally given a custodial sentence.

But the teenager did not appreciate the seriousness of the offence and he had probably sent the drugs as a prank.

Diane Hunt, chairman of the bench, said: ''The amount of drugs was very small, the attempt was fairly amateurish. However, it is a very serious offence. You will have a rigorous community sentence as a direct alternative. If you default you will go to prison, our sympathy will have expired.''

She said the court had taken into account his personal mitigation. The teenager, who lives near Woodbridge, had turned to crime after his parents split up.

Mark Holt, defending, said: ''It was a very, very clumsy attempt on his behalf to wrap it up in his own pay slip and that was very, very foolish. There was no financial gain for himself.''

The teenager apologised for his crime. He told the magistrates: ''He was getting bullied inside and I was just helping him out.''

The court heard the teenager spent his days watching television and used some of his £10-a-week pocket money on drink and drugs. However, he was confident that if he could obtain a job he would be able to turn his life around.

His father said: ''I do think giving him a custodial sentence would be counter productive.''

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