• Sun. Nov 28th, 2021

Murder accused Paul Crosby gets more jail time for breaking his cell phone in half

ByCindy J. Daddario

Oct 15, 2021

A convicted arsonist caught with a cell phone in prison snapped it in half before handing it over to officers due to “prison policy”, a court said.

aul Crosby (26), who “missed his family and friends” when he got the phone broke it because he didn’t want to cause trouble for another inmate.

He was caught with cell phones in two separate incidents as he “struggled” with increased isolation from the pandemic in Mountjoy.

Judge Bryan Smyth gave him four more months in prison when he appeared in Drogheda District Court.

Separately, Crosby is due to appear in Special Criminal Court without a jury for the murder of Keane Mulready Woods (17).

Crosby, of Rathmullen Park, Drogheda, Co Louth admitted illegal possession of cell phones in Mountjoy Prison on January 4 and June 5 of this year.

Guard Sergeant Mayor McDevitt said in the first incident he was found in possession of a phone in his cell at 9 p.m. The second time around, when prison officers saw him with a phone at 5:20 pm, he refused to hand it over and started “breaking” it.

He then handed the broken phone to the police officer.

Crosby had 43 previous convictions, the most recent of which, for arson, was handed down by Drogheda Circuit Court last year, when he was given a four-and-a-half-year sentence.

He had “struggled” in prison during the pandemic, his lawyer said.

Crosby hadn’t seen anyone for some time and found the extra level of segregation in custody very difficult.

He missed his family and friends and accepted that he was wrong about having the phones.

“It was a desperate time for him,” said the lawyer.

In one incident, he immediately handed the phone back. In the other, he broke the phone in half but did not use any assault, she continued.

“It was prison policy, it wasn’t his phone and he didn’t want to get anyone in trouble,” she said.

Crosby had been a reinforced prisoner at the time, but as a result of the incidents he was penalized and his status was dropped.

He lost his privileges and his phone calls were suspended. He worked in the prison bakery and had lost that job as well, but had since “gained the trust” and got it back, his lawyer said.

Justice Smyth said he would take into account the proposed mitigation measures, the accused’s previous convictions and the time he was serving.

He imposed two consecutive two-month sentences on him.

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