A DRUG businessman who hid a mobile phone he had smuggled between two UK prisons “up his back” when his cell was raided was jailed.
Harri Pullen, 24, of Newport, was found to have mostly used the device to ring and message his mother and girlfriend from HMP Manchester and HMP Swansea.
Pullen, who was jailed in October 2019 for drug trafficking, was found in possession of the phone when his cell at HMP Swansea was searched in January this year.
Officers used a portable metal detector that revealed he had something inside his “lower back or rectal area,” Swansea Crown Court heard.
He was taken for X-ray which showed “a non-organic object hidden inside his rectum in the shape of a small mobile phone”.
Pullen admitted that he had taken Manchester’s phone with him, hiding it in the secret compartment of a tin can, and tried to reprimand prison authorities for not finding it when they searched his belongings.
He said another inmate had offered him £ 3,000 for the mobile phone a week earlier because it was the only one in jail.
After attempts to convince prison staff not to report him failed, he refused to take the phone and was put in a cell by himself.
The next day broken pieces of the gadget were recovered from the floor.
An investigation analyzing the phone data showed that he made and received more than 2,500 calls and texts during his stay in both prisons.
The SIM card with payment according to your use has been regularly refilled by people outside the prison.
Police are still investigating those suspected of being involved.
Pullen was released at the halfway point of his sentence on February 4 and was immediately re-arrested for the telephone offenses in what James Hartson QC, prosecuting, referred to as a “gate arrest”.
Magistrates released him the next day on parole.
He was arrested again on April 23 in Newport after being caught driving while disqualified and with 17 packages of cocaine and heroin.
Ben Waters, mitigating, said there was no evidence that the phone was used for crime and his client began using it while in prison a long distance from his family during a period of the Covid-19 pandemic when the time given to inmates for. use of prison phones was limited.
Mr Waters said that when Pullen was released on bail, he and his partner were threatened with a debt he owed and resumed drug dealing to repay it.
Judge Paul Thomas QC said Pullen’s previous convictions for drug trafficking and having a cell phone in jail were serious aggravating factors, also have his attempt to thwart the search by blocking the cell door and hiding the device “up his back”.
The judge said: “The possession of mobile phones in prisons causes real problems of order and discipline in these establishments.
“I hear what you’re saying about debt after your release, but that, I’m afraid, is a common consequence of involvement in the dirty world of drug trafficking.”
Judge Thomas sentenced Pullen to four years and nine months in prison, half of which he will serve in custody and the rest on leave.
He will also be banned from driving for 12 months after his release.
After trial, police officer Tyler Price, the officer in the case, said: “Harri Pullen has chosen to continue a life of crime after his release from prison.
“Pullen has exploited the most vulnerable in our communities and benefited from the passing of others. We welcome this sentence and hope that it acts as a deterrent and shows that drug supply will not be tolerated in Gwent.
“We will continue to target anyone who perpetuates this crime in our communities.”