Norwich prisoner cheated with classic poem - and still lost

A Norwich prisoner who copied a poem by Philip Larkin in a bid to win a poetry competition was caught out after fellow inmates spotted the plagiarism. Sergio Lapa, 36, was only awarded second place in a poetry competition in the prisoner's magazine Inside Time - despite the fact he had submitted what is widely regarded as a classic.

The prisoner, who is awaiting trial at HMP Norwich on a charge of attempted murder, entered a poem called In Bed in his attempt to win the �25 prize in the March edition of the magazine.

But he was caught out when at least eight prisoners spotted the poem was an exact copy of Philip Larkin's poem Talking In Bed.

A prison worker also wrote to the magazine to point out the poem was a copy of the 1964 poem about isolation, disillusion and failure and that Mr Lapa had been caught 'bang to rights'.

A spokesman for Inside Time confirmed it had received 'many letters' about the poem. He added: 'Do not plagiarise other people's work, as you WILL be found out.'

The poem by Larkin lost out in the competition to a contribution titled Relating from a prisoner called Brian Darby, of HMP Maidstone.

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Philip Larkin's Talking in Bedm, which was submitted by Norwich Prison inmate Sergio Lapa

At this unique distance from isolation

It becomes still more difficult to find

Words at once true and kind

Or not untrue and not unkind