Prison guard found with cannabis

Spring Hill Corrections Facility. Photo / NZPA Wayne Drought
Spring Hill Corrections Facility. Photo / NZPA Wayne Drought

An Auckland prison officer is facing charges relating to drugs offences and obstructing a police officer.

According to court documents Chandra Deo, who works at the Spring Hill Corrections Facility in Waikato, was arrested last weekend and charged with possession of cannabis and a pipe used for smoking drugs, and obstructing a police officer.

A Department of Corrections spokesman said the arrest took place while the 45-year-old was on leave and not near the prison.

He confirmed the department was aware of the charges but said he couldn't discuss the circumstances further.

While unable to comment on the specific case, he said usually in such a situation the issue would be raised when someone returned to work.

"The person comes in, you then ask them their side of the story. They would be stood down, I think, for 48 hours, that would be considered and there may be suspension until the case is finished.

"First you have to speak to them and hear their side. We can't pre-judge what will happen," said the spokesman.

Such incidents were was rare, he said.

In the Corrections workforce of about 7500, "a very low number" had convictions.

Deo is due back at Manukau District Court later this month.

The Corrections Association, which represents prison guards, did not return calls.

- APNZ

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