Man attempted to smuggle four iPhones into Doncaster prison using secret compartment in his trainers

A judge has handed a suspended sentence to a man who attempted to smuggle various items including four iPhones into a Doncaster prison, using secret compartments in his trainers.

Wednesday, 16th October 2019, 3:51 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd October 2019, 10:57 am
Carl Parkin admitted attempting to smuggle various items into HMP Lindholme that had been hidden in a secret compartment in his shoes

Carl Parkin, 31, was caught out during his visit to HMP Lindholme on February 3 this year, when a security officer at the visitors’ centre noticed that his trainers felt ‘too heavy’ and proceeded to check them.

Andrew Smith, prosecuting, told Sheffield Crown Court: “The sole was folded down, and various items had been secreted inside the shoe.”

The items found inside Parkin’s trainers included four iPhones and a small, orange mobile phone, as well as six packets of tobacco; four packets of rolling paper; a USB stick; two SD cards and several phone charging cables.

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Mr Smith added: “She [the security officer] informed Parkin of the items she had found in his shoes and he smiled at her. He told prison officers he was glad he had been caught, he said that he had done this on nine previous occasions.

“He said that what he thought was in the shoes was tobacco. He said that he would meet up with someone at a garage, and would be given these items.”

Parkin did not answer any questions in police interview, and also failed to respond when he was asked if he had been put ‘under any pressure’ to take the items into prison, the court heard.

He admitted his wrongdoing when he pleaded guilty to a charge of conveying prohibited items into prison.

Mr Smith said Parkin had already been dealt with by way of a 12-month conditional discharge at the lower court for some of the lower-graded items that he had attempted to take into HMP Lindholme.

Ian Mullarkey, defending, said Parkin, of Wroe Street, Dewsbury was a recovering crack addict who had previously accrued a ‘substantial drug debt’ with his dealers.

He said Parkin managed to repay the debt in 2017, but his dealers said he still owed them and pressured him to take items into prison.

“The defendant refused initially...but they vandalised his mother’s home and further pressured him,” said Mr Mullarkey.

He added: “Eventually he acquiesced and agreed to convey items into prison. He was given the shoes and the items to take into prison.”

Mr Mullarkey said Parkin had a 11-month-old daughter with his partner, who is currently pregnant with their second child.

Judge Michael Slater said he regarded Parkin’s case to be an ‘exceptional’ one, and sentenced him to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years.

He said: “I accept the submissions from Mr Mullarkey that you are a vulnerable man, susceptible to the actions of those more worldly than yourself...that is borne out by your reaction when being detained at prison.”

Judge Slater also ordered Parkin to complete a 25-day rehabilitation activity requirement.