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Thursday, 28 August 2014

Haverigg jail Facebook probe latest

THIRTEEN prisoners at a South Cumbrian jail have been caught updating their social media profiles from their cells in the last 12 months.

The Evening Mail discovered the 13th serving prisoner using his Facebook account while serving in HMP Haverigg just last week.

An inmate using the profile name Chrissy Embleton used the site to inform family and friends of his move to the prison from his former location.

After declaring he felt sick last week he received several messages of support, even claiming it was “mental” at Cumbria’s only prison. The prisoner even arranged a phone call with a friend during the online conversation.

Within hours of the Evening Mail approaching the Ministry of Justice, who run the prison, Embleton’s Facebook page was removed.

And a Prison Service spokesperson said: “Prisoners have no access to the internet and are barred from updating Facebook while serving their sentence, or asking others to do so from outside prison. If they do, their accounts will be terminated.

“It is a criminal offence to have a mobile phone in prison and we work hard to keep them out. Any prisoner found in possession of one will be dealt with appropriately.”

The Evening Mail has uncovered a string of Haverigg inmates using mobile phones.

In March, Michael Haggan, who is serving a four-year-sentence, was set to have further time added to his stay, after he was discovered using his Facebook account to appeal for penpals while inside.

Then in September, armed thug David Wibberley, from Liverpool, boasted on his social network site about “chilling” in his “pad”, as well as “skinning up” and being “whiffed out me ed” while at HMP Haverigg.

And in October revelations came to light of drug dealers, thugs and burglars using mobile phones to take pictures of themselves inside the prison, before posting them online.

Under UK law it is illegal for inmates to have, or use, mobile phones inside prisons. However, inmates managed to upload images of themselves smoking in their cells and posing in a recreation room at the jail on Facebook.

Profiles with the names Jay McKevitt, Kevin (Ob) O’Brien, Jay Lunt, Paul Gallagher, Damon Stobbard, Gary Hyland and Martin Grant have all had posted pictures confirmed as being taken inside Haverigg.

The six inmates were jailed for convictions ranging from drug dealing to burglary and assault.

A profile for Joshua Hampson had also been posted on Facebook asking for people to write to him while he was in custody.

The MoJ said not all the offenders were still behind bars, but admitted the images had been taken inside prisons.

In November, prisoner Nicky Appleton had his Facebook account deactivated after he was discovered to be using it in HMP Haverigg.

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