A PRISONER took advantage of the trust placed in him to smuggle contraband into a Worcestershire open prison, including drugs, alcohol and mobile phones.

Ryan Clarke admitted conveying list A and B articles into HMP Hewell but was spared an immediate jail term when he appeared at Worcester Crown Court on Friday. The 30-year-old had been a prisoner at the jail on November 30, 2018 when he attempted to bring in several prohibited items, including eight SIM cards, 10 USB leads, iPhones, six USB adaptors, cannabis and six bottles of mango flavoured vodka. He was permitted to leave the open prison to work and attempted to bring the items back in using a holdall but the items were seized by prison officers during a search.

Julian Lynch, prosecuting, said Clarke had three previous convictions for four offences, serving a three year sentence in 2011 for attempted robbery. In May 2016 he was jailed for four years and nine months for possession of a handgun. He was serving this sentence at the time he attempted to bring the contraband into prison.

Charmaine Robinson, defending, said: "This is a disgraceful case of conveying articles into prison."

However, she said it was an 'exceptional case' and had taken the items into prison in order to 'survive financially'. "He decided to take a chance, a decision he now thoroughly regrets" said Miss Robinson.

As a result of his actions she said the father-of-three and 'devoted family man' had been returned to a closed prison for three and a half months and had had these matters hanging over him since. "This was committed out of desperation and completely out of character" she added.

Recorder Benjamin Nicholls sentenced him to 13 months in prison suspended for two years and placed him on an electronically monitored curfew for six months. This will run between 7.30pm and 4.30am daily, time he said Clarke could use to 'reflect on the foolishness of your actions'.

"It has been a very close-run thing Mr Clarke," Recorder Nicholls told the defendant.