Suspended sentence for woman who smuggled phone into prison

Charlotte Gittens, of Queen Adelaide, received a suspended sentence for smuggling a phone into HMP Peterborough.

Charlotte Gittens, of Queen Adelaide, received a suspended sentence for smuggling a phone into HMP Peterborough. - Credit: Nicola Audesley

A woman from Queen Adelaide near Ely has received a suspended sentence for smuggling a phone into prison.

The six months’ custody, suspended for 18 months, also covers a string of shoplifting thefts by recovering drug addict Charlotte Gittens, 27.

She appeared before King’s Lynn Magistrates’ Court on Thursday for sentencing alongside Tabitha Giles, 27, who helped in a thieving spree in the town’s High Street on November 18.

Gittens had given the phone to a prisoner during a visit to HMP Peterborough on December 4 last year.

Prosecutor Jacqui Dankyi said: “She’s gone to hug the prisoner, put her hand up her skirt and taken out a package which she placed in the front of the prisoner’s trousers.

“The defendant has then kissed and hugged the prisoner before sitting down.

“Officers have seen this and located a small mobile phone given to him.”

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A probation officer report said that Gittens had been on a drugs binge with friends the night before.

She had not been asked for any money for the drugs but was asked to take the phone to the prisoner.

The report said Gittens didn’t realise the seriousness of the offence but felt “pressurised and coerced” into doing it.

The court was told she had served three weeks in custody following the offence, awaiting preparation of the pre-sentence report.

She was now back living with her father in Ely Road and receiving support to kick her habit.

Solicitor George Sorrell said: “The truth is [her parents] thought they had lost her but they have now got her back.

"She has an interview next week for work in a warehouse.”

To fund their drug habits, Gittens and Giles had been to King's Lynn and stolen three electric toothbrushes and perfume worth in total £531 from Boots, a coat and three bottles of perfume from River Island and three bottles of Fairy Liquid from Savers.

They had also stolen £83.72 of goods from Aldi in Ely on July 1.

Gittens also had six other counts of shoplifting of alcohol and meat in Ely, Soham and Littleport.

An application for the imposition of a Criminal Behaviour Order was dismissed.

Gittens’ sentence includes a 12-months Mental Health Treatment Order and 35 days of rehabilitation activities. She was ordered to pay compensation totalling £386.31.

Giles, of High Barns, Ely, was given a 12-month community order with 40 hours’ unpaid work and told to pay £50 costs and £41.86 compensation.

No action was taken against the pair’s breach of a conditional discharge.