Prisoner risked sparking unrest at Hollesley Bay by using mobile phone

HMP Hollesley Bay. Picture: GREGG BROWN

HMP Hollesley Bay. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Archant

A prisoner risked causing “significant unrest” among other inmates by getting hold of a mobile phone while locked up in Suffolk.

Michael Mulcare was spotted with a mobile phone in his hand at Holleslay Bay prison, near Woodbridge, on March 7 last year.

The 27-year-old was released in November on licence from a nine-and-a-half year sentence for aggravated burglary and conspiracy to burgle.

He was one of six men jailed for a total of more than 54 years in 2013 for a string of burglaries worth more than £400,000 across north west London.

Mulcare travelled from his mother’s home in Cricklewood to admit the charge before magistrates in Ipswich on Tuesday.

The court heard how he handed over the phone when caught red-handed by a prison officer.

Prosecutor David Bryant said: “This is a serious offence. It could have caused quite a disruption if other prisoners knew an inmate had a mobile phone. It could cause significant unrest.”

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John Hughes, representing Mulcare, said the phone was not used for any criminal activity, but for keeping in touch with family outside prison.

He said Mulcare was subsequently moved to Norwich Prison and lost significant privileges as a result.

Mr Hughes said his client had since found work as a scaffolding labourer and was “something of a model person” for the probation service, but had been summonsed to court by post several months after leaving prison.

“I would suggest the most appropriate way of dealing with him is by way of a curfew,” he told magistrates.

“He is terrified of the prospect of being sent back to prison, having turned his life around.

“He is a hardworking man who is – if I dare say – reformed.”

Magistrates said they were pleased to hear Mulcare was making an effort at reform.

They agreed with Mr Hughes that a community order with a curfew requirement would be appropriate punishment.

The curfew will last 12 weeks and restrict Mulcare’s movements to his girlfriend’s home – 10 miles from his mother’s address, in Bells Hill, Barnet – between the hours of 9pm and 5am.

He must pay £85 in prosecution costs and an £85 statutory charge to provide compensation for the victims of crime.