Prison guard denies smuggling charge

23:48, May 20 2014
Raymond Heperi Harris
DENYING CHARGES: Raymond Heperi Harris resigned from his job after it was alleged he supplied contraband to prisoners in exchange for cash.

A long-serving Corrections officer has denied smuggling tobacco into Christchurch Men's Prison.

Raymond Heperi Harris, 60, resigned from his job in May last year after he was confronted with allegations he was supplying contraband to prisoners in exchange for cash.

Corrections investigated and lodged a complaint with police.

Harris was eventually charged with taking tobacco into the prison with the intention of giving it to inmates.

The alleged offence is a breach of the Corrections Act. If found guilty Harris could be jailed for up to 3 months and fined $5000.

This morning, a Christchurch District Court spokeswoman said Harris had plead not guilty to the charge.

He was scheduled to appear in the court again next week but that hearing might be adjourned to another date, the spokeswoman said.

Harris previously declined to comment when approached by The Press at his home in Parklands.

The allegations of corruption were the first to be investigated at a Canterbury prison since 2008.

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