Violent kidnapper had phone in Derbyshire prison cell to call son
A kidnapper who was jailed for being part of a ruthless gang of drug dealers has now been found with a cell phone in his cell in a Derbyshire prison.
Derby Crown Court learned of how Damien Yates was at HMP Sudbury earlier this year as the detention element of his nine-and-a-half-year prison term came to an end.
The 34-year-old’s sentencing hearing learned how officers found the device hidden in a cabinet.
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The court heard how the prison initially handled the matter internally, sentencing Yates to 21 days in detention and removing his privileges for 42 days.
But now the case has been heard in court eight months after the incident.
Handing the accused a six-month suspended sentence of two years, recorder Nicholas Bacon QC said: “This is serious business, but I read your explanation in your letter which tells me how you had the phone for contact issues like you were worried your son would feel like you are no longer interested in being his father.
“This conditional sentence is now hanging over you.”
Gregor Purcell, prosecuting, said officers discovered the mobile in a cell Yates shared with another prisoner, and he said earlier this year in the same court had received the same sentence.
He said the phone was plugged into the mains and hidden in the back of a cabinet.
Yates, who is homeless, pleaded guilty to possession of a cell phone in prison.
Andrew McInnes, mitigating, said his client was concerned about the lack of contact with his son inside HMP Sudbury due to the Covid pandemic.
In 2017, the accused was part of a gang imprisoned for a combined total of 57 years.
The four thugs armed themselves and drove from Liverpool to Morecambe and Lancaster to embark on a shocking afternoon of violence.
They broke into an apartment and attacked their first victim with a steering lock before slicing his face and head with a Stanley blade as he tried to escape.
Thirty minutes later, the gang were on the streets of Lancaster, where they boarded a second victim in a car on Moor Lane in front of shocked onlookers.
Yates, then 29, from Medbourne Crescent in Kirkby, Liverpool, was jailed for nine and a half years for unlawful injury and kidnapping.
Following the conviction four years ago Detective Inspector Mark Dickinson of Lancashire Police said: ‘These attacks were carried out in broad daylight, one in a busy town center, and demonstrated extreme violence.
“The impact on the victims, the people who witnessed the incidents and the community at large is significant.
“I want to thank everyone who reported what they witnessed to the police and helped us with our investigation.
“We will not tolerate itinerant criminals bringing violence to our cities and we will prosecute those involved in such activities in court. I hope that the sentences imposed on the accused will have a deterrent effect. “
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