Man in court accused flying drone into grounds of Perth Prison

© DC Thomson
Perth Sheriff Court.

A man has appeared in court accused of flying a drone carrying five mobile phones into the grounds of Perth Prison.

Michael Martin, 34, of Cedar Avenue, Kirkcaldy, appeared in private before Sheriff Gillian Wade at Perth Sheriff Court to face the charge, which allegedly took place on September 22.

Martin is accused of flying an unmanned surveillance aircraft, or a drone, over and into the grounds of the prison.

He is also charged with being concerned in the supply of cannabis – a class B drug  — and two class C drugs, Temgesic and Etizolam, at the jail on the same day.

Martin made no plea or declaration and was remanded in custody.

The court appearance follows several attempts to fly drones into Perth Prison in recent years.

A Freedom of Information request revealed there had been six such incidents at the jail between May 2016 and September this year.

Last April, a drone destined for Perth Prison landed in a nearby garden. It was found to contain a hoard of illegal or banned items, including heroin, cannabis, mobile phones, Sim cards, USB cables, super glue tubes and a screwdriver.

A criminal gang in England was charged with carrying out nearly 50 drone flights at various jails across the UK, including Perth.

The drones contained a host of items, including drugs, mobile phones and a Freeview TV box.

Fraser Munro, governor of Perth Prison, has said prison staff use the bank of CCTV cameras that surround the building to stay alert to anything suspicious.