Prison nurse jailed after sending ‘flirtatious’ text to inmate
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A prison nurse has been jailed after she was found sharing 'flirtatious' phone calls and texts with an inmate.
Elyse Hibbs, from Manchester, had been working at HMP Parc in Bridgend, Wales, when she came into contact with the unnamed prisoner.
It was heard that the 25-year-old, who began working at the prison in September 2018, met the inmate when she gave him medical treatment.
However, after concerns were raised over his behaviour, he was eventually moved to HMP Manchester in 2021.
It was then that the inmate got his mum and a friend of his to help him track Hibbs down on Instagram, and the pair began speaking.
The court heard that Hibbs passed on her number to the prisoner's friend, and over the next six weeks the pair would speak over a three-way phone call, with his friend "holding two phones together so that they could talk to each other".
Prosecuting, Matthew Cobbe said: "The calls between the defendant and inmate were flirtatious.
"They talked about the prison and staff at the prison. He says he loves her and she replies she loves him too.
"He told her he wanted to thank her for how she had looked after him at Parc."
Mr Cobbe said despite Hibbs asking the prisoner not to contact her, they continued to speak, with Hibbs even asking him about his views on prison corruption.
He added: "They also reveal the inmate thought very little of the defendant, he was quite clearly manipulating her.
"It’s quite plain that their conversations were wholly inappropriate."
In June, Hibbs was signed off sick from work and eventually resigned from her post in on July 6.
She was arrested on July 13 after police found her phone number on his approved calls list for inmates, and she has since been struck off by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
Defending Hibbs, Adam Sharp said his client was 'exploited' by the prisoner and claimed that she did not help with any criminal activity and neither did she benefit financially from the relationship.
Mr Sharp told the court that his client was "young, impressionable and relatively inexperienced" and urged for her sentence to be suspended.
However, due to the seriousness of the crimes, Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke said she was unable to do so.
"You knew what you were doing was wrong, you had done training but nevertheless you went on to form an emotional relationship with this inmate," she said.
"You engaged in a flirtatious relationship initially, you failed to report the ongoing contact and you failed to report that this inmate had upon him and in custody an unlawful device.
"He was left with the potential ability to manipulate you while you were still working at a prison.
"Although you are young you were in a position of responsibility as a nurse and as a member of prison staff."
Hibbs admitted misconduct in public office and was sentenced to six months in prison.