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Man found with axe taped to stomach in prison, court hears

PUBLISHED: 11:36 12 July 2019 | UPDATED: 11:36 12 July 2019

HMP Wayland Prison. Picture: Ian Burt

HMP Wayland Prison. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant

A man was found with an axe taped to his stomach while in prison, a court has heard.

John Charlton, 39, had been serving a sentence at HMP Wayland for aggravated burglary at the time when staff carried out a cell search.

Norwich Magistrates' Court heard that Charlton was found with the weapon.

Wayne Ablett, prosecuting, said: "The officers found a small axe which was taped to his stomach underneath his clothes."

Charlton was interviewed but offered no explanation for having it, on January 30 this year.

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The defendant, who has since been released from prison, appeared before city magistrates on Friday (July 12) where he admitted unauthorised possession in prison of an offensive weapon.

Lucy Brakewell, mitigating, said Charlton, who now lives at Fuchsia Lane, Ipswich, had been working in the kitchen and used it to cut the meat after accepting it off another prisoner who had worked in the workshop.

She said: "He now realises how foolish he was to accept it from that other prisoner."

Miss Brakewell said he taped the weapon to himself as he realised he should not have it and "panicked". She said he had already been punished in prison for the offence, including losing his job in the kitchen and having to remain in his cell apart from two hours a day.

With that in mind, she urged the court to consider a suspended sentence.

But magistrates deemed the matter "so serious" that it was sent to Norwich Crown Court for sentence at a date to be fixed.

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