Prison governors should be able to sell mobile phones confiscated from inmates, an MP has proposed.

Criminals can currently ask for handsets seized in cell raids to be returned when they finish their sentences, in a situation branded “perverse and outrageous”.

Tory MP Stuart Andrew said: “Currently there is nothing in law giving any powers to governors to destroy property that prisoners should not have. As a result, astonishingly, any items seized have to be stored by governors and kept in safe-keeping for the duration of the prisoner’s term.”

On the other hand…..

Rescuers trying to get to a guard being held hostage at a maximum security prison were guided to him – by inmates with illegally held mobile phones.

The guard at Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville, South Carolina, was rescued nearly five hours after a group of inmates using homemade knives forced him into a cupboard.

Corrections Department spokesman Clark Newsom said one or more inmates using phones told officers where the guard was being held, and he was able to walk out of the prison with just cuts and bruises.