Rimutaka Prison guard jailed for contraband
Updated at 6:53 am on 3 June 2011
A court has heard that a former guard who smuggled hard drugs and fast food into Rimutaka Prison initially did so in response to threats and intimidation.
Johan Clarke, 42, was jailed for two years and three months by the High Court in Wellington on Thursday on six charges of corruption, which he had admitted.
He is the first New Zealand prison guard to be charged with corruption.
Clarke's lawyer, Michael Bott said a probation officer claimed his client lacked insight into his offending, but that wasn't the case.
He said Clarke was broken and traumatised by his offending and was shamed by the fact he'd broken the trust imposed on him and let down his colleagues.
Mr Bott said compared with other cases involving goods being smuggled into prisons, the benefit to Clarke was very small.
The offending began in 2008, when Clarke smuggled some cannabis into Rimutaka Prison for a prisoner. Later, he smuggled in several other items for another prisoner, including methamphetamine and a cellphone.
Clarke received cash and items including a GPS unit and a laptop computer in payment for taking the contraband into the prison.
Justice Kos said Clarke had betrayed the trust placed in him and he wasn't satisfied that Clarke was truly remorseful.
The Corrections Department says it has strengthened systems at the entry to prisons to make it harder for contraband to be smuggled in.
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