St Helena Online

St Helena Online

The St Helena report and the gap in media

Jamestown prison boss gets jail term for theft

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Mick Morris, who ran Jamestown Prison until earlier this year, has been given a jail term himself – for stealing from another prison.

A court in the UK heard he took computers and a camera from Leyhill Open Prison when he left to take up his job on St Helena.

Morris, 45, was given a six-month prison sentence on each of five charges. The sentences were suspended for 12 months, meaning he will not go to jail if he stays out of trouble for a year.

The court ordered him to observe a 12-week curfew at his home in Somerset, and be fitted with an electronic tag to ensure his compliance.

A news website in Bristol reports that Morris lost his marriage and his career as a result of the thefts.

He pleaded guilty to five charges when he appeared in court on 5 September 2012.

The first said that between February and November 2010, he stole a laptop belonging to Leyhill Open Prison, near Bristol.

The other charges said that on 23 August 2010, he stole another laptop, a Samsung NC10 netbook, an e-reader for reading books on a computer, and a Polaroid camera.

A sales website for the NC10 says it is designed to “complement people’s fast-paced and digitally interconnected lives, enabling you to do even more on the move.”

Morris left St Helena on annual leave during the UK summer – and has not returned. He first appeared in court on 8 August and was given bail.

This Is Bristol website reported that the stolen equipment had been issued to him as part of his job as deputy governor of the prison, where he also ran the staff photography club.

Some of his photographs of St Helena appear on the flickr website, along with his artistic photography.

When he left the job at Leyhill he failed to return the equipment, even when he went back to the UK on leave. He blamed long-term depression, said the website report.

Morris was ordered to pay £3,616.62 in compensation.

He was also required to remain at his home in West Huntspill, in Somerset, between 8pm and 6am, every night for 12 weeks.

Morris was among more than 50 people on St Helena who received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in May from Governor Mark Capes, “in recognition of their service to the people of St Helena and the United Kingdom.”

The medal was awarded to members of the armed forces, emergency services and prison service who had completed five years of satisfactory duty. 

In July, St Helena Government advertised for a new Deputy Superintendent of Gaols, responsible for day-to-day running of HM Prison Jamestown, with a salary of £40,000 plus benefits.  

Soft sell: inside info that prison job advert doesn’t mention
Prison boss Michael Morris stole from jail – This Is Bristol online news

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