Man sentenced to one year for prison smuggling in Bedford

A man already in prison was sentenced to serve an additional year on his jail term, after it was discovered he arranged for drugs and syringes to be smuggled into Bedford Prison.

Joseph Searle, 25, was found guilty of intentionally encouraging the commission of an indictable offence, and transmitting images from a prison without authority.

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He was sentenced in relation to an incident which happened at HMP Bedford in October 2017, during which a prison staff member discovered nearly 100 grams of cannabis and two syringes hidden in two pairs of trainers brought in for Searle by his ex-partner.

It was heard in court that Searle, using an illegal mobile phone which he handed over following the arrest of his ex-partner, had been contacting her and encouraging her to smuggle various items into prison for him.

Her electronic devices were also seized and messages were discovered on her phone; they started in September and continued until her arrest.

In the texts Searle asked her to smuggle tobacco and a mobile phone for him as well as asking her to bring him some clothes.

Searle received a one year sentence for the commissioning of the offence, and six months for transmitting images from a prison without authority, to run concurrently.

Searle’s ex-partner received a suspended sentence.

Detective Constable Sajid Saddique, who investigated the case, said: “This was a direct result of a discovery made by diligent and committed prison staff members, and we will continue to work with them to put a stop to this type of offence.

“Searle has now had further time added to his prison sentence, which hopefully he will spend reflecting on his actions.

“I also hope that the suspended sentence served to his ex-partner will serve as a deterrent to anyone who is planning to bring restricted items into prison.”