Glasgow & West Scotland

Barlinnie prison officer jailed for sexually assaulting inmates

Brian Johnstone Image copyright Spindrift
Image caption Brian Johnstone was a prison officer for 30 years

A prison officer who sexually assaulted two inmates at HMP Barlinnie in Glasgow has been jailed for three years.

Glasgow Sheriff Court heard Brian Johnstone, 60, from Greenock, repeatedly attacked the men in their cells.

The victims, aged 26 and 35, were also both assaulted by Johnstone in the showers.

Sheriff Joseph Platt told him: "You betrayed the trust of the prison service and your fellow employees."

Johnstone had denied the charges but was convicted of sexually assaulting his first victim between December 2013 and March 2014 and the second from March until August 2016.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The assaults happened at Barlinnie Prison in Glasgow

The younger of the two inmates, who was Johnstone's first victim, described a time when he assaulted him while he lay in bed, ill with food poisoning.

The 35-year-old victim, who was on remand at the time of the attacks and subsequently acquitted of the charge he faced, described the first incident of sexual assault when Johnstone came into his cell and "lunged" at him.

The man told the jury that Johnstone would come into his cell, before he was awake and touch him.

Johnstone claimed to have vague memories of the men and denied any sexual contact.

Defence lawyer John Scullion QC said Johnstone is a family man and had worked throughout his adult life.

He resigned from the prison service when he was convicted.

The sheriff also placed him on the sex offenders register.

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