Officer admits smuggling tobacco into jail

Last updated 05:00 15/07/2014

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A long-serving Corrections officer has admitted smuggling tobacco into prison in his underwear in exchange for thousands of dollars.

Raymond Heperi Harris, 60, resigned from his job at Christchurch Men's Prison last May after he was confronted with allegations of corruption.

He had been employed as a Corrections officer since 2001.

He initially denied taking tobacco into the prison with the intention of giving it to an inmate.

However, in Christchurch District Court yesterday he pleaded guilty to the offending - a breach of the Corrections Act.

Judge Jane Farish said she would consider a sentence of home or community detention for Harris, who was freed on bail to appear in the court again on September 10.

According to the police summary of facts, the offending began after Harris struck up a relationship with an inmate.

In total, he was paid up to $3000 by the inmate for bringing him the tobacco.

Corrections Department figures showed that more than 6000 banned items were seized coming into prisons in the 11 months to May 30, 2012.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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