by Jordan Arizmendi
As of March 2023, the U.K. Prison Service had fired 31 guards in just 48 months for sexual misconduct with prisoners in England and Wales. More than half of the randy guards – 18 – were fired from a single lockup, HMP Berwyn, which is Britain’s newest and largest, with space for 2,100 prisoners.
Former guard Jennifer Gavan, 27, took one of Cupid’s arrows for prisoner Alex Coxon, 25, along with £150 (about $180 USD) that he paid her to sneak a cellphone into prison for him. She then used the phone to send nude selfies to the drug and robbery convict. Gavan pleaded guilty in December 2022 and was sentenced to eight months. [See: PLN, Feb. 2023, p.63.]
Another guard fired from the prison, Emily Watson, 26, got a 12-month sentence in April 2019 after she admitted having sex – three times – with prisoner John McGhee, 27 in his cell. The vehicular manslaughter convict – his car lights weren’t on when he struck and killed a charity worker out walking his dog – also kept in his cell a video game console, in which investigators found a contraband cellphone that he and Watson used to have virtual sex.
A third guard fired from the lockup, Ayshea Gunn, 27, used her cellphone to snap a selfie while exchanging a passionate kiss with prisoner Khuram Razaq, 29. For their four-month affair, she was sentenced to a 12-month prison term in December 2019. Like the other prisoner Romeos, Razaq got steamy selfies and even a pair of Gunn’s underwear, along with an extra eight months added to his sentence.
Mark Fairhurst, who chairs the guard’s union, the Prison Officers’ Association of the U.K., blamed the X-rated hijinks on the Prison Service hiring department for bringing aboard what he called the “wrong kind of women.”
“A lot of people getting these jobs don’t have enough life experience and are susceptible to conditioning from prisoners,” Fairhurst said.
The Prison Service promised that “[o]ver 500 members of staff at HMP Berwyn have undertaken corruption prevention training in the last 18 months and our enhanced security is protecting the prison against attempts to smuggle illicit items inside.”
Sources: Daily Mirror, Daily Post, Liverpool Echo, New York Post
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