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Former guard pleads guilty after bringing contraband to P.E.I. jail

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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

A Brackley man who was working as a guard when he smuggled a cellphone, marijuana and tobacco into the provincial jail for an inmate has pleaded guilty to a breach of trust by a public officer.

James Tutton, 39, appeared before Chief Judge Nancy Orr in provincial court in Charlottetown Friday where the case was adjourned until Feb. 21.

Reading from an agreed statement of facts, Crown attorney Nathan Beck told the court an investigation was triggered when a woman contacted the jail about an inmate making calls to her while he was in custody.

The court heard Tutton was seen on surveillance video going into a bathroom and leaving with the inmate doing the same soon after.  

Beck said a full search found the cellphone behind a panel in a shower.

Tutton also brought marijuana and tobacco into the jail.

Beck said a woman gave Tutton money and other items at a Tim Hortons that he then took to the correctional centre.

The court heard the woman told police she paid Tutton a total of about $700-$800 and recorded conversations in which he talked about wanting to make extra money. 

Tutton later told police he was having financial difficulties at the time of the offence.

Beck told the court the inmate had the cellphone for about two weeks.

The court was told Tutton was a jail guard for about three months and previously worked as a police officer in northern Quebec for nine months.

Tutton will be back in court Feb. 21 for sentencing.

A provincial spokesman previously told the Guardian Tutton is no longer employed by the province. 

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