September 2021

Prison officer dodges second jail stint after being found with vile images of kids

A prison officer has dodged a second stint in jail after being found guilty of having indecent images of children on his mobile.

Levi Simic, 22, claimed in court that the images of children were sent to him on WhatsApp, after it was discovered he smuggled two phones to convicts in 2019.

Simic was employed at the prison between January and October 2019.

He managed to avoided a jail sentence after the judge confirmed Simic was ‘responding well’ after being released from prison himself and had even got a new job.

Simic worked at the Sodexo run prison in Salford but he was sacked and jailed for six months when he was caught with two iPhones in his work boots as he started duty.

He made the claim in court that he was pressured into smuggling the phones by criminals

Simic was jailed for six months for that offence at a hearing in October last year.

As part of the investigation, his car was searched and his own iPhone was seized.

This was mainly done to see if there was any communication relating to the smuggling, Mark Brookes prosecuting said.

However, when the subsequent download was examined it was revealed there were indecent images of children on the device.

Yesterday, September 1 at Manchester Crown Court, Simic again admitted to a series of offences in relation to these.

There were a number of images on the phone, the court was told, however some of were of the most serious category.

Three had also been forwarded onto others.

Simic told police in interview that he had been sent them by WhatsApp group chats and had ‘done nothing with them’ Mr Brookes said.

Mr Brookes added it was claimed they had been ‘exchanged for amusement rather than for a sexual reason.’

“The prosecution doesn’t accept that this mitigates the offences,” he said.

Simic was instead sentenced to a two-year community order and was ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work.

He must also attend the iHorizon programme which works with male internet sex offenders.

He was made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for five years which among its terms states he must not delete or use anything which deletes his internet history and that his personal devices must be available for inspection by a supervising officer.