A MAN arrested after acting suspiciously during a prison visit was today (Wednesday September 10) jailed for trying to pass drugs to an inmate.

Kevin Anthony Forster’s demeanour caught the attention of observing officers during the visit at Durham Prison in September last year.

Durham Crown Court heard he was seeing a remand prisoner, who also drew the attention of staff by running from the visit room table once officers approached.

Peter Sabiston, prosecuting, said Forster was taken to a separate room where prison officers retrieved a small package, containing four buprenorphine tablets.

Mr Sabiston said the class C drug, used as a “heroin substitute”, has a high value in prison.

“Each tablet is usually divided into three or four parts before sale.”

Thirty-three-year-old Forster, of Ethel Terrace, Castletown, Sunderland, admitted taking a prohibited item into prison.

The court heard he has never previously served a prison sentence.

Susan Hirst, mitigating, said Forster, who has kept out of trouble for four years, knew he faced a likely custodial sentence if caught.

But she said he has domestic responsibilities and family members would suffer if he was jailed.

Jailing him for eight weeks, Judge Robert Adams told Forster he had no wish to punish his family.

“But, drugs cause immense problems in prisons," he said.

“I would be failing in my public duty if I did not send you to custody, even if only for a short time."

The court was told the inmate Forster was visiting was Boden George Hughes, of Fulwell Road, Sunderland.

Since his release over the matter he was in custody for at the time, 26-year-old Hughes was arrested following a fire on a North Sea ferry, on December 28.

He is due to be sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court later this month having admitted arson at a hearing in July.