Page last updated at 10:05 GMT, Saturday, 4 April 2009 11:05 UK

Prison chiefs contest phone case

The Prison Service has said it will appeal against a High Court ruling that it illegally destroyed an ex-prisoner's mobile phone.

The £200 phone was confiscated from prisoner Mark Coleman, from Wood Green, north London, while he was at Wayland Prison near Thetford, Norfolk, in 2006.

It was then destroyed in a prison training exercise. Mr Coleman is due to seek compensation.

The Prison Service said it was "disappointed" with the judgement.

Girlfriend visit

A spokesman said: "The unauthorised use of mobile phones by prisoners poses a risk to the safety and security of prisons and the safety of the public."

This is a claim about a mobile phone of low value, but the issues raised in the case are of wide application
Sam Grodzinski, Mr Coleman's barrister

Mr Coleman was found to be in possession of the Samsung D500 following a visit from his girlfriend in January 2006.

The phone was first "interrogated" by police for any information it contained and was then destroyed in a prison training exercise for drug detection dogs.

Mrs Justice Dobbs said the prison authorities were entitled to confiscate it because prisoners were banned from possessing them.

She said: "A convicted prisoner, in spite of imprisonment, retains all civil rights not taken away expressly or by way of necessary implication, including the right to ownership of property."

Sam Grodzinski, appearing for Mr Coleman, said the hearing had wider implications.

He said: "This is a claim about a mobile phone of low value, but the issues raised in the case are of wide application."

Complaints about the treatment of prisoners' property constituted the single biggest category of complaints made to the Prisons Ombudsman, said Mr Grodzinski.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Prison 'wrong' to destroy phone
03 Apr 09 |  London
Crackdown on prisoner mobile use
24 Nov 08 |  Scotland

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific