Sheffield prisoner who hid smuggled phones up his bottom given second chance
A ‘hardened criminal’ from Sheffield who stashed mobile phones he smuggled into a Doncaster prison up his bottom has been hauled before the courts.
Graham Moore, 54, has spent most of the last 15 years behind bars; receiving a 15 year sentence for robbery and firearms offences in 2003, before being jailed for another eight-and-a-half years in 2015 for further firearms offences.
Another year was added to his sentence in 2017, after prison officers at HMP Lindholme found he had secreted a mobile phone up his bottom in June 2016.
Prosecutor Neil Coxon told Sheffield Crown Court today that Moore had admitted committing identical offences in April and May of last year, whilst he was a prisoner at HMP Moorland.
“The defendant was the sole occupant of his cell. Officers attended on April 11, 2018 and the defendant was asked whether he had anything that he shouldn’t have. He provided a response to the negative. He was asked to squat and a mobile phone was found secreted between his butt cheeks,” said Mr Coxon.
Mr Coxon said officers carried out another search on May 9, and another mobile phone was found between his butt cheeks.
Officers continued to search his cell and another phone was found in his dressing gown pocket.
Moore was subsequently charged with three counts of possession of contraband electronic devices in prison, and the court proceedings were still pending when he was released from his nine-and-a-half year sentence in January this year.
The Recorder of Sheffield, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC, said Moore, previously of Fox Hill, Sheffield, should have been sentenced before his release from prison, and the inevitable consecutive sentence he received would have pushed his release date back.
Moore, who has an extensive criminal record of 71 offences from 19 convictions, pleaded guilty to the charges at an earlier hearing.
Rebecca Tanner, defending, said: “Mr Moore was a career criminal, and after serving lengthy sentences..he now presents as a man who is showing the signs of real change.
“The pre-sentence report corroborates everything the defendant has told me about turning his life around.”
Ms Tanner said Moore has found employment since his release from prison, and asked Judge Richardson whether it would be possible to defer or adjourn sentence to see whether he continues to make the same progress.
Judge Richardson said he felt deferring sentence until July 18 was a ‘risk worth taking’; but warned Moore that should he re-offend during that time he would not only serve the rest of his license period, which expires in 2023, but he would also receive an additional sentence for his most recent set of offences.
He said: “It’s important to record that this is a wholly exceptional course of action. Ordinarily, I would not contemplate taking a step such as this for a person such as you.
“There are a wholly unusual set of circumstances here, not least the fact a hardened criminal seems to be taking steps towards redemption and rehabilitation.”
Judge Richardson added that in addition to punishment, another important function of the courts is to rehabilitate offenders where possible.
He said he was throwing Moore a ‘lifeline’ and if he did not take it and was to re-offend during the next four months he would be the ‘architect of his own destruction’.
“If you step out of line once, back to jail you will go...as soon as night follows day, you will remain in jail until 2023,” added Judge Richardson.
He released Moore on bail until his next court appearance.