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Mobster Gilligan caught with hooch in prison cell

PRISON officers are following the scent of Christmas cheer in the country's jails -- after mobster John Gilligan was found drunk in his cell. Illegal hooch for the Christmas celebrations on the inside takes about five weeks for inmates to secretly prepare.

But following this latest bust, the jailed drug dealer will not be able to consume the next batch as he is now serving 56 days in solitary confinement. In addition, pint-sized Gilligan (60) could have a few days added to his sentence, which is due to expire in August, following the discovery of DIY prison hooch in his cell.

That sentence, which means he will spend the festive season locked up alone, has already been extended by six months for illegal possession of a phone.

Although Gilligan will lose privileges, including access to television, he will be allowed contact with family.

Gilligan has just lost his lengthy battle to save Jessbrook Equestrian Centre, the jewel in his crime portfolio, to the Criminal Assets Bureau.

A source said today that the search for hooch is helped significantly by the smell of the brew during fermentation.

Prisoners conceal their batch in the storerooms and in gyms where the odours from chemicals and muscular rubs such as Deep Heat help mask the smell.