Freddie Thompson fined €200 for using mobile phone in prison

Dublin man admitted phoning sister from his cell in Cloverhill

Freddie Thompson. Photograph: Collins Courts

Freddie Thompson. Photograph: Collins Courts

 

Dublin man Freddie Thompson has been fined €200 after he pleaded guilty to unlawfully having a mobile phone in his prison cell.

The father-of-one avoided a jail term after he admitted he caved into temptation and used the phone to contact his sister while he was being held at Cloverhill Prison in west Dublin on May 29th last.

Judge Anthony Halpin told Thompson that “Oscar Wilde himself said he could resist everything but temptation.”

Thompson (34), pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court to the offence which is under contrary Section 36 of the Prisons Act and can result in a jail term of up to one year, and possible €5,000 fine.

Judge Halpin heard a search was carried out of Thompson’s cell, which he had shared with two other prisoners. Thompson was lying on a bottom bunk and the mobile phone was found discarded there.

Analysis showed it was used for calls and texts to his sister’s number.

Judge Halpin was told Thompson, from Loreto Road, Maryland, in south inner city Dublin, had 30 prior criminal convictions, most of which were for road traffic offences.

Defence solicitor Edward Bradbury told Judge Halpin that Thompson had no involvement in bringing the phone into the prison. Thompson had been brought back to Ireland “quite hurriedly” last May and wanted to stay in touch with his family, the lawyer said.

In a plea for leniency, Mr Bradbury said Thompson knew it was reckless; the phone had been made available to him in the cell and he was tempted.

A certificate detailing various educational courses Thompson has done in custody was handed into the court along with a letter of apology. Mr Bradbury also apologised to the court on his client’s behalf.

Judge Halpin noted the prosecution confirmed there was no suggestion Thompson was responsible for getting the phone into the prison. It was also confirmed he had used it to contact one number, his sister’s.

Citing the famous quote about temptation, from Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan, Judge Halpin spared Thompson a custodial sentence and imposed the €200 fine. Thompson, dressed in a grey polo shirt, grey tracksuit bottoms and runners, did not address the court but waved at his mother in the public gallery before she approached him for a brief chat.

Thompson’s guilty plea came after the State complied with an order to provide disclosure of evidence. His admission save the State from having to call up to 20 witnesses to give evidence. He remains in custody pending the outcome of his violent disorder case in the Circuit Court.