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‘Old fool’ Solihull bricklayer talked into bringing drugs to prison inmate half his age



A foolish bricklayer from Solihull was talked into a prison drug deal by a woman half his age.

“Old fool” Simon O’Rourke, aged 58, from Solihull, in the West Midlands, was convinced into bringing drugs to a prison inmate.

The HMP Folston Hall lag Rebecca Matthews boasted she could sell it for four times its value to fellow prisoners.

O’Rourke was handed a one year and two month jail term – suspended for 24 months.

Derby Crown Court Judge Shaun Smith said: “As the saying goes ‘there is no fool like an old fool’. For reasons best known to you, you were persuaded to do this by her and it all ended in disaster.

“Goodness knows why you got involved in this.”

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Jailing Matthews, 27, for 18 months the judge said: “I have absolutely no doubt you were the instigator.”

Sarah Slater, prosecuting said the offence took place on December 2, 2018, at the women-only Derbyshire prison.

She said O’Rourke, of Wichnor Road, and Matthews, of no fixed address, were talking on the telephone about him coming to see her, reports DerbyshireLive.

Miss Slater said: “During that conversation he said to her ‘are you going to sell my sniff (cocaine), Becky?’ and she replied saying ‘why are you talking like that this is being recorded?’

“She then went on to say ‘I have made a killing here before’ which the crown say shows she had sold cocaine at Foston Hall when she was there previously.

“On the day of the visit prison officers noticed he was very fidgety, approached him and took him to one side.

“On his person was cocaine and a substance we says was bicarbonate or another cutting agent.

“It was worth £1,600 because she talks about the value being four times higher inside prison than outside.

“He was arrested and said he took the drugs to her to cheer her up and in her interview she denied she had encouraged him to bring it in.”

Phillip Plant, mitigating, said his client works as a bricklayer and had got involved with Matthews, who is less than half his age, as he wanted to help her.

He said: “This is an unusual situation, he did something completely out of character.”

As part of the suspended sentence he was ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work.

Matthews, a mother-of-one, pleaded guilty to one charge of attempting to convey a class A substance into prison.

Theresa Hunt, her barrister, said: “She accepts she was the instigator. There was a lack of sophistication, she knew she was being recorded. It was the most basic attempt which was doomed to fail.”





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