Prison visitor who had ‘suspicious bulge’ in jeans jailed

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Martin Lynch'''jpco-08-03-17-lynch SUS-170203-120813001

A prison visitor who had a suspicious bulge in his jeans has been jailed for 14 months after it was found to contain mobile phone SIM cards and a legal high.

Martin Lynch, of The Birches, Crawley, was visiting a friend at HMP Rochester in Kent when the lump was spotted in his trousers by a guard after he came back from the toilet.

A court heard a search revealed four SIM cards and a psychoactive substance known as 5-fluro AKB48 wrapped in cling film.

He had hidden the package up his backside after an inmate asked him to smuggle them into the prison during a visit in August last year.

Judge Adele Williams told Lynch the prohibited goods had ‘a high currency’ within a prison population.

Judge Williams said: “You took the decision to do this quite deliberately and concealed the items in your anus before entering the prison and you were detected after going to the lavatory to retrieve them.

“Only an immediate sentence of imprisonment is justified for your behaviour.”

Judge Williams reduced the sentence from 16 months to 14 months after informing the court she had taken a ‘too high starting point’ in terms of sentencing guidelines.

Judge Williams initially jailed him for two years, only to be told by the prosecution that the offence carries a maximum sentence of two years and credit had to be given for his guilty plea.

The psychoactive substance was a legal high at the time. It is said to have similar effects to cannabis with ‘intense physical sensations’.

Prosecutor Mary Jacobson told Maidstone Crown Court in Kent on Wednesday (March 1) the package was discovered during a routine search when Lynch, 43, returned to the visitors’ hall from the toilet.

She said: “The officer noted what she described as a suspicious lump underneath his jeans. A further search was conducted and the defendant was becoming very worried and anxious.

“She asked him what this obvious lump was and he simply retrieved it.”

The package had a total weight of 36g, with 30g being the psychoactive substance.

Lynch admitted two offences of conveying a prohibited article into prison.

Matthew Bolt, defending, said it was ‘one of the most foolish things he had ever done’ but simply an act of friendship with no cash incentive.