Cannabis found in prisoner’s cell

Thirty-six grams of cannabis was found in the cell of a Christchurch prisoner in an early morning raid. At a Christchurch District Court session in the men’s prison on Thursday, Mark Daniel Graham Giddens, 28, pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis. According to the summary of facts, Corrections staff entered his cell about 6am on September 28.

About “36 grams of cannabis, contained inside a snaplock plastic bag” was found in a box underneath his bed. Giddens told police it was not his and had been given to him for safekeeping. The court heard Giddens was in the final 10 months of his sentence, which was cannabis-related, and had been due to appear before the Parole Board next month.

Judge Robert Murfitt sentenced Giddens to three extra weeks behind bars. A Department of Corrections spokeswoman said security staff used intelligence, regular searching and drug dogs in an effort to keep drugs out of prison.

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