A prisoner who was caught with a needle claimed he was using to run an illicit personalised greeting cards business from his cell in Perth Prison.
James Kidd said he was using the needle and paint to create one-off birthday and Christmas cards for other inmates in the maximum security jail.
Kidd – dubbed Moonpig by a prison source after revealing his secret business yesterday – told Perth Sheriff Court he had set up the card-making operation behind bars.
The 25-year-old, from Memorial Court, Leven, admitted having a prohibited item within Perth Prison on February 8 last year.
Fiscal depute Matthew Kerr told the court: “Information was received that caused the prison officer to attend the accused’s cell and carry out a search.
“During this search a needle was found, similar in type to those used in the prison workshop. It was concealed in a trinket box on the counter beside the television.”
Solicitor Sandy Raeburn, defending, said: “He was using the needle to make money by making cards. The prison officers found paint which was being used as well.
“He was making greeting cards. That was the reason for him having the needle. He wasn’t hiding it, as it was out on his tray. He complied with the prison staff.
“There were two small particles of paint around the sink area of the cell. It is serious, but I submit it is towards the lower end of the scale, given the articles which are sometimes found in prison, such as knives and so on, which can be used for nefarious purposes.”
Sheriff Lindsay Foulis told Kidd: “You have numerous convictions for crimes of violence and convictions that show your respect for the justice system is not what it should be.”
He jailed Kidd for eight months yesterday.
Last month, Kidd appeared in the same court and was praised by a sheriff for his ingenuity in creating a tattoo gun out of a spoon, a guitar string, a pen and a Playstation controller.
Sheriff Keith O’Mahoney told him: “It seems to me you may very well have some skills if you made this tattoo gun. I hope at some point you can use those skills to do something more productive.”
Kidd replied: “I’m an electrician to trade.” He admitted having a banned item - namely the tattoo gun - within Perth Prison on 18 December 2017.
Fiscal depute Michael Sweeney said: “A search was carried out of the accused’s cell as there was intelligence that he had a tattoo gun. They found a home-made tattoo gun under the sink.”
Mr Raeburn told the court: “He fashioned it to use on himself, to give himself tattoos, and he knows that was wrong.
“He made it himself. It was made from a spoon, a guitar string, and ink from pens, along with the engine which came from a Playstation controller.
“He has been serving a sentence from July 2017 and he accepts full responsibility for having this prohibited item. He was punished for it within the prison.”
Kidd, who has a string of previous convictions for violence and sexual offences, was jailed for 20 days for the that offence.
A prison source said: “He’ll be getting called Moonpig from now on if he’s been running a greeting card business here. At least he’s keeping busy.”
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