Former prison worker tells how he smuggled mobile phones into jail

A former prison worker who was jailed after being caught sneaking in mobile phones for inmates has said he was never searched during his six months of employment.

James Almond, 33, escorted builders renovating HMP Stocken in Rutland - where he claims he was coerced into bringing in phones.

Almond said he had daily contact with prisoners despite not having had any training.

He told the BBC he felt "fairly vulnerable in the role, especially because at the time I was suffering heavily with depression after my father passed away - and that is the kind of thing these prisoners pick up on quite easily".

One day, Almond said he was asked by a prisoner to bring in mobile phones.

"He kept asking daily, and become aggressive with things he'd say," he said.

Almond, who worked at HMP Stocken in 2014, told the BBC that the prisoner left him feeling "scared" after making "threats" about his family.

"This gentleman was in prison for armed robbery. I didn't know what he was capable of."

Eventually, Almond agreed to bring in a mobile phone and continued to do so for several months before being caught. 

He said he was offered £500 for each parcel he took in, and that he was never searched during his six months working at the prison.

"It was a calculated risk that wasn't the day they decided ... to do a staff search," he said. 

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