Leeds & West Yorkshire

HMP New Hall: Prison officer had sex with inmate

HMP New Hall Image copyright Neil Theasby
Image caption HMP New Hall, in Flockton, Wakefield, holds up to 425 female prisoners of all categories

A prison officer has been convicted of having a sexual relationship with an inmate at a women's jail in West Yorkshire.

Iain Cocks had a relationship lasting nearly two years with the prisoner at HMP New Hall near Wakefield, where his wife was also working at the time.

Prosecutors told how the 51-year-old had consensual sex with the inmate in her cell and in a laundry room.

At Leeds Crown Court, Cocks was told by a judge to expect a jail term.

The officer, from Barnsley, also engaged in flirtatious behaviour with another inmate before sexually assaulting her in her cell.

A jury convicted him of two counts of misconduct in a public office and one of sexual assault, with the offences committed between June 2015 and May 2017.

The court heard how the assault took place on the victim's bed, and only stopped after she said: "Don't you think I am vulnerable?"

Jurors were told how the defendant had said to both women that he was in a bad marriage.

During his week-long trial, the court heard how Cocks also invited a third woman, who had just been released from the jail on licence, to his marital home, where they had sex.

Cocks, who looked to the ground and shook his head as the verdicts were delivered, is due to be sentenced at the same court on 13 December.

Remanding him in custody until then, Judge Simon Phillips told him: "A sentence of immediate imprisonment is inevitable, I know that you will understand that."

Addressing the jury, the judge added: "Unhappily, the expectations of the prison service have not been carried out in any fit and proper way by this one particular individual."

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