Leeds & West Yorkshire

Wakefield Prison nurse Karen Cosford jailed for affair with rapist

Karen Cosford
Image caption Cosford wrote to a love letter to McBride describing him as her "knight in shining armour"

A nurse who had an affair with a rapist at Wakefield Prison has been jailed for three years.

Karen Cosford, 47, of Normanton in West Yorkshire, had a sexual relationship with Brian McBride, who was serving a life sentence, over several months.

Three other prison healthcare workers were also jailed, for between 15 and 21 months, for covering up the affair.

Judge David Hatton QC told Bradford Crown Court that they had "abused their position of trust".

During the four-week trial the court heard how Cosford sent McBride intimate text messages on a phone which had been smuggled into the high-security prison.

The messages told the rapist he was "dead sexy" and that she loved him.

Cosford also performed a sex act on McBride, while two colleagues guarded his cell, the nurse's trial had heard.

A love letter sent by Cosford which was found hidden in a jar of sugar in McBride's cell described him as a "knight in shining armour".

Cosford, who worked at the prison medical centre, had denied misconduct, claiming McBride raped her and intimidated her so she would not report it.

The jury rejected her claims.

The affair was revealed when McBride's cell was searched and he told Cosford's husband, who was a prison officer, that he had been having sex with his wife.

Cosford, who denied charges of misconduct through engaging in a sexual relationship with an inmate, was found guilty on Thursday.

'Abused their position'

Healthcare officer Carolyn Falloon, 50, from Wakefield, and nurse Jacqueline Flynn, 46, from Pontefract, were both found guilty of failing to report the relationship and not reporting the mobile phone which had been smuggled into the prison.

Falloon was also found guilty of supplying McBride with mobile top-ups.

The judge jailed them for 21 months and 15 months respectively.

One of their colleagues, healthcare officer Kevin Wilson, 56, also from Normanton, pleaded guilty to failing to notify the authorities of Cosford's relationship, failing to report that McBride had a mobile phone and supplying McBride with a Sim card.

Wilson, who appeared as a witness during the trial, was granted credit for his guilty plea. But Judge Hatton said the evidence he gave was "unconvincing and in parts untruthful" and jailed him for 15 months.

The judge said: "It's a sad business indeed when four people of mature years and previous good character, public servants who have devoted several years to their vocation, should find themselves to be sentenced for having abused their position of trust."

Following the hearing, a Prison Service spokesperson said "the vast majority" of staff were "honest and hardworking".

"There is no place for corrupt members of staff in the Prison Service and we work closely with the police to identify them and will always press for the most serious charges to be brought against them."

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