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Persistent phone calls from prison prompt review

Persistent phone calls from prison prompt review

Friday 19 April 2019

Persistent phone calls from prison prompt review

A prisoner who was able to call his ex-wife 174 times in just one month has been sentenced to another seven months behind bars for harassment.

Callum Steer, 27, threatened his then-wife on multiple occasions, including telling her she should kill herself before he "slit her throat" and that he would "put her windows in" when he was released.

Steer and his ex-wife were described in court as having a "fairly volatile" relationship for much of the five years they were together, even during the time he was incarcerated. 

The threatening calls were made between 31 December 2018 and 22 January 2019. The court heard how Steer became obsessed with the notion that his ex-wife was cheating on him and that when the relationship ended he found it difficult to come to terms with.

The man who was described as not being of previous good character, was also given a restraining order against the woman along with his prison sentence. 

les Nicolles prison

Pictured: Les Nicolles prison.

Acting in his defence, Advocate Paul Lockwood said he would not shy away from the seriousness of the offence.

"I have not been instructed to come here with any 'sticks and stones may break my bones..' type defence. This was a very serious offence. This offence and his history of offending should be looked at in the light of a new finding," he said. 

Steer was recently diagnosed with Adult ADHD with Advocate Lockwood warning his client would not be able to get the talking therapy he needs if he remained in prison. 

Judge Graeme McKerrell said there could be no justification for the way Steer threatened his ex-partner and that the aim was surely to intimidate and scare his victim and that he felt a prison sentence was the only suitable outcome. 

"I cannot accept that you did not intend anything other than to put your victim in a state of fear. 

"I am concerned that you have been able to make the number of calls that you did and that the system allowed this to happen at all. In light of this offence there should, in my view, be a review," he said. 

Prison Governor, Dave Matthews, said the system relied upon victims of harassment to come forward should there be a misuse of the telephone service. 

“The Prison Service records all prisoner phone calls however, not all calls are listened to. The proportion of call which are monitored are based on intelligence and on random selection this only represent about 5% of all calls.

“The system relies on family members or members of the public reporting abusive phone calls and asking for contact to stop. If the prison receives a complaint, phone numbers are removed with immediate effect.

“In order to listen to all calls considerable extra resources would be needed and for the majority of calls would not be justified,” he said. 



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