Wales

HMP Berwyn prison officer jailed for sex with inmate

Emily Watson Image copyright North Wales Police
Image caption Emily Watson, 26, engaged in a sexual relationship with a prisoner, a court head

A prison officer who had a sexual relationship with an inmate has been jailed for 12 months.

Emily Watson, 26, pleaded guilty to a charge of misconduct in a public office after the relationship with John McGee, a prisoner at HMP Berwyn in Wrexham.

Mold Crown Court heard Watson, of Jerusalem Road in Linthwaite, Huddersfield, gave notice when things were getting out of hand.

McGee, from Liverpool, is in prison for causing death by dangerous driving.

Judge Nicolas Parry said "everything about this case is so, so wrong."

The court heard Watson went to McGee's cell alone on three occasions and they had sex once.

Image copyright North Wales Police
Image caption John McGee was also sentenced for possessing an illicit phone and charger

McGee, is said to have had the relationship with Watson between October 2017 and January 2018, although the court was told she realised things were getting out hand and she gave notice.

The pair had sexual interaction over FaceTime and she sent him naked photographs of herself, the court heard.

An investigation found the prisoner had been able to contact Watson on Instagram via an iPhone 6 which was hidden inside a Playstation which he opened with a screwdriver disguised as a pen.

'Gross dereliction of duty'

Judge Parry told the court that in December 2015, McGee, who was then on licence, drove at excessive speed in an attempt to evade arrest from police.

He drove with his lights off and ploughed into Richard Bratin, 52, killing him.

Judge Parry said Mr Bratin's family must feel "betrayal" at finding out that McGee was able to "conduct a sexual relationship from his prison cell."

Image caption HMP Berwyn was opened in February 2017 and is the second largest prison in Europe

He added the public would be "astounded" that a prisoner was able to have contact on Instagram from his cell.

"This quite reprehensible behaviour" was a "gross dereliction of duty," the judge added.

Gerald Pachter, defending, said in a police interview Watson made a full confession and said she believed herself to be in love with McGee.

Mr Pachter stressed that when she looked back she was "appalled" and "could not believe what she had done".

Mold Crown Court handed McGee a 12 month prison sentence, to be served consecutively to his existing prison sentence, for possessing an illicit phone and charger.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites