Canterbury thug Sonny Barker's Facebook boasts about easy life behind bars at Rochester Prison
A violent thug has been posting pictures on Facebook of his life in prison after smuggling a phone into his cell.
Cocky Sonny Barker – jailed for 12 years last August for threatening a terrified mum and daughter with a knife – has been uploading photos to his online profile and bragging of his easy life inside.
The pumped-up 20-year-old, of Penshurst Close, Canterbury, has been taking the snaps on a Blackberry in his cell at HMP Rochester, where he is serving a sentence for aggravated burglary and possessing a knife.
Snap of Barker (right) with prison pal Korrel Kennedy
Canterbury Crown Court heard he held the blade to a woman’s face and then to the stomach of her 16-year-old daughter after bursting into their Canterbury home last February wearing a balaclava.
But the muscle-bound menace - who has 24 convictions dating back to 2008 – appears to be taking little time to repent, regularly posting pictures and messages on the social networking site.
In the most recent photo, uploaded on Sunday and showing him topless in his cell and tensing his bicep, he boasts: “Wait a second, where did these muscles come from?”
Barker shows off his muscles in his cell
It is the latest in a string of photos and messages posted on his profile since the end of June.
In the first, on June 29, he wrote: “What’s happening! Coming from live from prison. Whos missing me.”
In another, on July 14, he wrote: “I’ll be home soon. Real soon December 2015.”
He even had the audacity to whinge about the lack of people contacting him on the phone, writing on August 4: “Why am I not getting the adds I deserve on BBM?!”
Barker and Korrel Kennedy in the shower block
Two days later, responding to a pal who says he “has it on smash” – prison slang for living an easy life inside – Barker boasts: “When haven’t I had it on smash? Admit it, been bossing since Elmley [prison].”
In many of the snaps, Barker is pictured with Korrel Kennedy, who was once dubbed “Britain’s worst teen” and is believed to be his cell mate.
Kennedy, 20, was given an Asbo six years ago banning him from large areas of Brighton.
He was later signed by a top modelling agency - even walking the catwalk at a Paris fashion show - but was jailed for two-and-a-half years in 2011 after he was caught on camera wielding a knife as he chased a man.
In the latest picture of the pair, posted last Monday, they pose in a cell in just their underwear, showing off the muscular physiques they have honed in one of the prison’s three gyms.
Barker and Kennedy pose in their pants
Behind them is a TV and a Playstation 2, which can be found in most cells in the prison, where football coaching courses and cookery classes are available to inmates.
Barker – a former Canterbury College carpentry student – made his Facebook profile private and changed his surname to Drummond in a bid to avoid detection.
But in a post on Saturday he admitted he was close to getting caught, writing: “Getting f***ing idiots prank calling me up saying they’re calling the police. Now I’ve got to get rid of my phone. I’m 21 next month and I’m still getting pranked. GAY!!”
Facebook status posted by Barker in June
A message to the outside world
Barker moans about lack of Blackberry friends
Barker admits he may have to ditch banned phone
Barker even appears to have smuggled a phone into Elmley prison on the Isle of Sheppey, where he was held until his transfer to Rochester in January.
Last May, while he was awaiting sentencing, he posted: “Thanks for all the comments guys. Write me some letters. Bet yous are thinking how is he on Facebook!! Hahaha I have my ways and my sources."
Barker shows off a tattoo in tribute to drowning victim Hugo Wenn
Steve Gillan, the general secretary of the Prison Officers’ Association, described the online postings as “scandalous”.
He said: “We’re extremely concerned that prisoners have been able to smuggle phones into their cells and take pictures and post them on Facebook.
“It is nothing short of scandalous and a breach of security.
“We believe it is down to cuts to staffing levels, cuts to budgets and redundancy programmes up and down the country.
“We are calling for a full review into the funding of public sector prisons.”
A Prison Service spokesman added: "Prisoners have no access to the internet other than for specific educational, employment or legal purposes - even then they are supervised by prison staff at all times and can only access pre-approved websites.
It is a criminal offence to have a mobile phone in prison and any prisoner found with one will be dealt with severely."
A damning independent report published in June showed the discovery of phones in HMP Rochester had jumped from just three to 69 in a year.
The number of random drugs tests failed by prisoners had also increased from less than 1% to more than 20% in the same time, with 169 coming back positive.
Barker takes centre stage in snap with fellow inmates
The report’s author Godfrey Featherstone blamed staff shortages for a drop in routine cell searches, adding there were “serious concerns” about “drugs and contraband becoming much more freely available” in the prison.
He wrote: “Mobile telephones, drugs and other unauthorised items are still recovered but on the basis of intelligence-led information, rather than routine search.
“Checks on visitors have become progressively intelligence led and consequently deemed to be more cost effective.
“However, finds of contraband amongst visitors have not increased significantly, suggesting that either searches of visitors are less effective or that the items are coming in by other means.”
Barker and Kennedy with another prisoner
Mr Featherstone goes on to say offenders leaving their wings are no longer searched, sparking fears they could be passing phones and drugs between each other.
He said: “As drugs and mobile telephones become more accessible, the risk of serious issues arising becomes much greater.
“The Board is of the view that much more needs to be done to reduce the supply of contraband into the prison and to prevent its use and distribution in the prison by increased searching by dogs and the criminal prosecution of those found to be supplying and possessing contraband.”
Commenting on the report, Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust, said: “Cuts to prison staff and budgets should not be made at the expense of the safety and security of people in prison or victims on the outside.”
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