A PRISONER was so 'startled' when guards discovered him holding a contraband mobile phone that he threw it out of his cell, a court has heard.

Kevin Mcateer denies three counts of having items without permission at HMP Bullingdon, namely a mobile phone, SIM card and charger.

The 27-year-old's trial began at Oxford Crown Court yesterday.

Sophie Murray, opening the case for the prosecution, said the items had been discovered during a planned search of his cell on October 22, 2018.

ALSO READ: Prisoner jailed for having phone in cell - but won't spend more time inside

She said at around 10.45pm prison officer Nigel Mason went into the room, which was only occupied by Mcateer, and found him holding a 'mini mobile phone'.

Ms Murray added: "Mcateer was startled by the officer and threw the mobile out of the cell."

Another officer was stood on the landing below, she told the court, and saw the item being thrown.

He picked it up and it was later discovered to be a zanco baby phone, a miniature version of a mobile which is still capable of making calls and texts.

A further search of the cell also revealed a micro USB charger, which is compatible with device.

When the mobile phone was examined an O2 SIM card was found inside, which Ms Murray said was then cross-referenced with approved numbers for Mcateer at the prison.

ALSO READ: Two years of traffic disruption expected as bridge carrying major Oxford road is replaced

A match was found to a number ending in '982' belonging to someone called Samantha Smith.

Ms Murray said Mcateer when questioned denied he had a mobile phone or charger, claiming the latter was left by a previous inmate and was actually for an E-cigarette.

The trial continues today with prosecution witnesses, including the officer who says he saw the mobile being thrown.