AN HMP Bullingdon inmate who should have been released back into society two weeks ago will instead spend another six months in prison after he was caught with a mobile phone in his cell.

Merlando Stapleton, formerly of Sandy Lane, Blackbird Leys, Oxford and now of the prison near Bicester, had already admitted the single count of possessing the prohibited item while in prison.

At his sentencing at Oxford Crown Court yesterday the 26-year old showed little emotion as he was told that his crime was so serious he again had to be jailed.

Stapleton was scheduled to be released on November 16 and will now spend this Christmas and beyond behind bars.

The offence first came to light at 1.50pm on on August 26, just three months after he was initially jailed for dangerous driving, when officers carried out a search of his cell.

Asking if he had anything on his person he immediately presented prison staff with a small, black mobile phone from within his tracksuit.

In mitigation, Lucy Ffrench said that her client had only used the phone to contact friends and family, which was backed up by forensic examination of the device.

She added that being a model prisoner he was asked by others to 'look after' the phone and was effectively 'in charge' of it for use by others.

He was given a six-month jail term for the single offence and the phone was made forfeit and will be destroyed.

Stapleton must also pay a statutory victim surcharge.