29 Dec 2016

Victim irate as burglar posts on Facebook from prison

4:48 pm on 29 December 2016

A Waikanae woman is irate that the man who burgled her art gallery earlier this year has been able to post Facebook photos and messages from behind bars.

Inmate Corey Thompson managed to update his Facebook profile from behind bars.

Inmate Corey Thompson managed to update his Facebook profile from behind bars. Photo: Facebook

Corey Thompson, 28, was sentenced to a year in jail in September for, among other offences, stealing more than $15,000 worth of pounamu from the Artel Gallery.

Despite being behind bars, Thompson posted messages and photos to his Facebook account on Christmas Eve.

Artel's owner, Maude Heath, said she was appalled Thompson managed to get a cellphone while imprisoned.

"So he posted about his Christmas dinner, he's able to have his relatives message him in his cell. What is Corrections doing? I really look forward to a bit of an apology from them.

"To me, he's not doing the time."

In a statement, Corrections said it took security breaches seriously, and it had asked Facebook to remove the posts and images.

"Prisoners don't have access to the internet or social media in prison. It is an ongoing challenge for the Department to prevent cellphones entering prisons, and clear-case televisions and cellphone detector dogs are two of a number of measures put in place to help with detection.

"Corrections has contacted Facebook to request the image be removed as it is a violation of the Corrections Act and we are fully aware of the impact this can have on a prisoner's victims."

The director of Rimutaka Prison has also personally apologised to Ms Heath.

Ms Heath said the prison's director, Chris Burns, called her this afternoon and apologised.