A SOUTHAMPTON man who tried to sneak a mobile phone into a prison has been handed a suspended sentence.

Pawel Jan Idziak, of Winchester Road, also admitted trying to smuggle in a charger while visiting a prisoner at HMP Erlestoke in Wiltshire.

During sentencing at Salisbury Crown Court, it was heard that, on May 3 last year, prison officers searched the 36-year-old during his visit, when the banned items were found.

Officers from Wiltshire Police then attended and arrested Idziak. He was later charged.

Idziak, who pleaded guilty to the offence, was given a six month prison sentence suspended for 12 months.

He was also ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work, undertake rehabilitation activities and pay a £115 victim surcharge.

Sgt Pete Foster said: "It is within everyone's interests that we have a safe prison and taking prohibited items into this environment undermines this. It can cause a lot of issues for staff at the prison and is completely unacceptable.

"We work extremely closely with the prison service to ensure this type of behaviour is not tolerated. We continue to conduct regular patrols at the prison and regularly maintain a visible presence in the area.

"We would encourage anyone who sees anything suspicious in the area, including anyone attempting to throw items in to the prison, or anyone attempting to take prohibited items inside, to report concerns to 101 or 999 in an emergency."