WHEN Goulburn jail inmate Adam Mansour’s love life struck trouble, he sought a lifeline. Or at least a communication line in the form of mobile phones secreted in the cell he shared with a co-accused.
Mansour, 26, told Goulburn Local Court on Wednesday he used the phones after his fiancé left him to join Channel Ten series, ‘The Shire’. In his depressed state he had used the phones speak to friends and “other girls,” he told Magistrate Geraldine Beattie.
“I made a mistake, I’ve suffered for it and I’m sorry,” he said via audiovisual link.
He pleaded guilty to owning and using two of the four mobile phones Corrective Service officers found in a wall section behind his cell window frame. His cellmate, Abdul Zahed, 27, also pleaded guilty to using a mobile phone/sim card and possessing and attempting to prescribe a restricted substance.
Officers found a stash of electronic equipment and drugs after searching the pair’s minimum security cell on June 25 this year.
Behind the wall were four mobile phones, three phone chargers, a USB Sandisk thumb drive and cable, a set of earphones and five plastic re-sealable bags filled with brown powder, white powder, white pills, Xanex tablets and Subutex tablets, police documents tendered to the court stated.
Zahed admitted to owning two mobile phones and the Xanex and Subutex tablets. He used the former to help him sleep and the latter to assist withdrawal from a drug addiction, he told police during interview.
The former electrician, of Tahmoor, told the court he took full responsibility for the offence but used the phones to stay in contact with his wife after her miscarriage. There had also been a death in the family three months ago.
“I’ve been punished,” he told the magistrate. “I’ve been locked in my cell 23 hours a day, put in maximum security and had my privileges taken away.”
“What else did you expect the jail to do when officers found those things in you cell?” Magistrate Beattie replied.
She noted Zahed’s guilty plea to “two very serious offences that went to the heart of jail security.” But she said welfare services were available to him to deal with his stress and drug addiction.
Magistrate Beattie said Zahed had a very significant criminal history with violence and firearm offences on his record.
She sentenced him to an extra six months’ prison on both charges, to be served concurrently.
He will be eligible for release on June 15, 2015.
Mansour, who was serving time for “serious offences of violence,” was sentenced to an extra five months’ prison. His earliest release date is December 2, 2013.
Magistrate Beattie said she considered Mansour’s subsequent change in jail classification, the fact he’d been moved away from his family and that he’d made full admissions. His sentence was reduced for these reasons.