Tuesday 6 December 2016

Prisoner caught for seventh time using a phone in his cell

Andrew Phelan

Published 07/06/2016 | 13:55

Mountjoy Prison
Mountjoy Prison

A businessman serving a sentence for possession of €1.9m worth of cannabis has been caught for the seventh time using a mobile phone in his prison cell.

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Alan Boggins (41) was calling home about his two young children when prison officers in Mountjoy saw him. He threw the phone down the toilet.

He did not get any extra jail time after Judge Anthony Halpin gave him a three-month sentence but made it concurrent to one he is already serving.

Dublin District Court heard he had six prior convictions for the same offence.

Boggins, of Keelogue House, Peamount Road, Newcastle, Co Dublin pleaded guilty to unlawfully having a mobile phone in a prison on January 6, 2016.

The court heard prison officers saw him with the mobile phone in his hand. When he saw them, he put it in the toilet. It was retrieved by staff.

A garda sergeant said that Boggins had 31 prior convictions, including six for possession of a mobile phone in prison.

His last conviction, in 2015, was for one of these offences and he was given a six-month suspended sentence.

Fundraising

He was sentenced to 13 years in jail in 2013 for possession of drugs for sale or supply.

Boggins had been "quite active" in terms of recreation in the prison and had been involved in a charity fundraising event which raised €4,500 for the children's hospital, his barrister, John Griffin, said.

"He's been of relatively good behaviour," Mr Griffin added.

He said Boggins was pleading guilty on his second day in court in relation to the offence.

"He has two young children at home," Mr Griffin added.

Previously, the court heard Boggins' release date was in 2023.

He had already been disciplined by the prison authorities for having a phone and had no visits for 14 days.

He had worked in the bakery in Mountjoy and had "kept himself quite busy". The defendant had also taken a gym instruction course.

Boggins, a former car dealer and married father-of-two, was convicted of drugs offences following a trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

That court was presented with testimonials and reports from business and sporting backgrounds in the Clondalkin area praising his contributions to the parish.

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