More jail time for gunman caught with phone in cell

ireland
More Jail Time For Gunman Caught With Phone In Cell
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Tom Tuite

A jailed gunman, who was caught with a mobile phone plugged into his prison cell Playstation console, has been given an extra two months in prison.

James Walsh, 34, who had address at Rahanine Manor, Rochfortbridge, Co. Westmeath but was originally from Clondalkin, Dublin was jailed for 10 years in 2016 for a firearms offence in connection with botched a non-fatal shooting.

He appeared again before Judge Bryan Smyth at Dublin District Court where he pleaded guilty to a newer offence for unlawful possession of a mobile phone in his cell in Mountjoy Prison.

It happened on a date in July 2018.

Judge Smyth was told Walsh, who has 65 criminal convictions, made no reply when charged.

Jurisdiction for the case to be dealt at district court level was accepted.

The court was told a “miniature mobile phone was found charging into his Playstation in his cell”.

He had been given a 10-year jail term by the Central Criminal Court in December 2016 after he pleaded guilty to possession of a gun with intent to endanger life at the Church of the Transfiguration, Bawnogue Road, Clondalkin, Dublin 22 on March 26, 2014.

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The 10-year term was backdated to when he went into custody on Dec. 5, 2014.

Judge Smyth was told Walsh is due for release in June next year and he was “trying to keep his head down and do his time.”

He had already been caught with another mobile phone in his cell in March 2018 which led to getting another one-month sentence last on top of his existing term.

Walsh did not address the court.

His guilty plea had saved the State significant cost, Judge Smyth heard in a mitigation plea.

His solicitor asked the court not to add to Walsh’s sentence on the grounds that the offence went back a period of time and it could have been dealt with along with the other phone possession charge.

Sentencing, Judge Smyth said the term would have to be consecutive under the legislation, and particularly in this case because Walsh already had another prior offence for possessing a mobile phone in prison.

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