Three prison guards jailed for affairs with inmates at UK’s biggest jail
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Staff at the largest prison in the UK have gone through anti corruption training after three prison guards ended up behind bars themselves for having affairs with inmates.
HMP Berwyn, in Wrexham County Borough, Wales, is the largest prison in the UK and is able to hold over 2,000 inmates, but since opening in 2017 it has been hit by multiple affairs between prisoners and guards.
According to North Wales Live, prison guard Jennifer Gavan recently pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office and was sentenced to eight months behind bars after admitting to having a relationship with a prisoner between April and July 2020.
Judge Niclas Parry said an iPhone with explicit images of the prison guard had been found in Alex Coxon's cell, and that she had been paid £150 to smuggle it into the prison for him.
Gavan admitted that she had communicated with the inmate via Snapchat and kissed him, and it's not the first time the prison has been hit with a similar scandal.
In 2019 prison officer Ayshea Gunn was sentenced to 12 months in prison for having an affair with inmate Khuram Razaq, who had been sentenced for armed robbery.
He was in Berwyn on a 12 year sentence and had a further eight months added on, while Gunn admitted to misconduct in public office.
Judge Nicholas Parry said the pair exchanged 'highly sexualised and pornographic' messages, and an investigation was launched after people noticed she was spending a lot of time in his cell.
She had also sent him screenshots of a WhatsApp chat where prison officers discussed various inmates and the tactics used to search cells.
Earlier in the same year, fellow HMP Berwyn prison officer Emily Watson was jailed after it was discovered she had performed a sex act on a prisoner.
A court heard how the prison guard had visited inmate John McGee's cell and performed oral sex on him twice and full sex on another occasion.
HMP Berwyn is a prison for 'category C' inmates, meaning it's supposed to be a place for 'training and resettlement' where prisoners can develop skills they can use when they are released.
It's a step above the minimum security prisons where inmates can spend most of their day outside the facility for work or education.
Category C inmates are deemed to be unlikely to try and escape prison or pose a serious risk to the public, but are not quite deemed safe enough to be in category D and be incarcerated in an 'open prison'.
Berwyn has tried a number of schemes to help build a 'respectful' atmosphere and work on a 'rehabilitative' approach', including letting inmates have the keys to their own cells.
Inmates also have access to phones and laptops for communication and education, while they can also make use of a sports hall and gym or learn a variety of trades.