The teenage attacker who posted a selfie of himself from inside prison on Facebook may fsace more time in jail.
Nineteen-year-old Oliver Dennis posted the photograph on his Facebook page on October 2 – less than a month after being jailed for eight years for attacking and stabbing a 16-year-old in St Mary’s Church graveyard.
It is believed the photograph was taken while Dennis was being held at Lewes Prison before being moved this week.
The Prison Service said this week that prisoners are banned from accessing social networking sites behind bars and those found to be breaking the rules can be stripped of their privileges and have time added to their sentence.
A spokesperson said, “We confiscate mobile phones whenever we find them and are investing in new mobile phone blocking technology. Prisoners are banned from using social networking sites and those found using them can be stripped of their privileges and time added to their sentence. As soon as we discover that prisoners are using social media, we take immediate action to shut down their profiles.”
Dennis, of Meadow Road, Hailsham, and Eastbourne teenagers Kieran Patrick Zacharias, 17, of Knoll Crescent, and Charlie Saint, 16, of Wordsworth Drive, were convicted of wounding and violent disorder.
The 16-year-old victim suffered head and thorax injuries and was rushed to the Royal Sussex County Hospital.
After his attackers were sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on Friday September 11, the victim’s family said that justice had been served.
However, after seeing the photograph on Facebook– which shows Dennis posing in prison with a caption saying he missed people and will see them on “da outside” – the victim’s family said they were upset.
The victim’s family said this week, “So much for him having remorse for his actions.
“Aren’t mobiles illegal in prison?”
Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell said she would be writing to the Prisons Minister immediately.
“It’s unacceptable that those convicted of crimes should be able to post Facebook pictures while they are in jail because it brings the justice system into disrepute,” she said.
“Everything must be done to ensure it doesn’t happen again in any jail because it is illegal. I will be expressing my concerns in writing to the minister over the incident.
“It must be remembered he was convicted of a very violent offence, so my sympathy today is with the victim and his family who may have to see this criminal posing on social media.”
Hailsham MP Nus Ghani said, “I’m appalled someone convicted of such a disgusting crime can access social media in prison in this way.
“Forbidding prisoners from accessing mobile phones is an important part of their punishment and a crucial way of preventing them from communicating with criminal networks.”
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