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Two female prison workers ‘had inappropriate relationship’ with exact same inmate

Tom Wood

Published 
| Last updated 

Two female prison workers ‘had inappropriate relationship’ with exact same inmate

Two female prison employees have been accused of having relationships with the same inmate, a court in Cardiff has heard.

Elyse Hibbs, a nurse, and custody officer Ruth Shmylo – both 25 years old – have been charged with misconduct over alleged ‘inappropriate relationships’ while working in prison.

They are accused of having ‘abused the public’s trust’ in a manner that is ‘without reasonable excuse or justification’.

Elyse Hibbs. Credit: Wales News Service
Elyse Hibbs. Credit: Wales News Service

The pair will stand trial together at Cardiff Crown Court to ascertain whether the pair were involved in an inappropriate relationship with the prisoner, who has not been named but is serving a sentence at Category B HMP Parc in Bridgend.

Shmylo is alleged to have had a relationship with the prisoner between December and April 2021, whilst Hibbs’ alleged fling with the inmate followed between May and July 2021.

Hibbs has also been accused of misconduct while working at HMP Manchester – better known as Strangeways – as well as at Parc.

The two women will appear at the court next month. 

Hibbs’ charge reads: "While acting as a public officer, namely prison nurse, wilfully and without reasonable excuse or justification misconducted yourself in a way which amounted to an abuse of the public's trust in the office holder by engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a prisoner."

Ruth Shmylo is accused of a five-month relationship with the prisoner. Credit: Wales News Service
Ruth Shmylo is accused of a five-month relationship with the prisoner. Credit: Wales News Service

The charge against Shmylo also reads: "While acting as a public officer, namely a prison custody officer, wilfully and without reasonable excuse or justification misconducted yourself in a way which amounted to an abuse of the public's trust in the office holder by engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a prisoner."

So far, neither woman has entered a plea to the charges.

Hibbs, who lives in Newbridge in Gwent, and Shmylo, who lives in Pontypridd, will next appear at Cardiff Crown Court on September 13.

The pair will appear at Cardiff Crown Court next month. Credit: Wales News Service
The pair will appear at Cardiff Crown Court next month. Credit: Wales News Service

In February of this year, a prison officer who admitted a four-month relationship with an inmate was given a 10-month suspended prison sentence.

The court heard how 23-year-old Alisha Fallows, from Barrow, would ring violent offender Damien Baxendale on the prison’s phone pretending to be his family whilst she was employed at HMP Lancaster Farms.

The court was also told that she’d used mobile phones to communicate with Baxendale, who is serving a sentence for two counts of grievous bodily harm with intent.

Fallows admitted misconduct in office and was given a jail sentence of 10-months.

Baxendale pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited item and was sentenced to an additional 10 months.

Detective Superintendent Karen Jaundrill Kitchen, of the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit, said: "Alisha Fallows abused her position as a prison custody officer by choosing to have an inappropriate relationship with an inmate and she will now have to face the consequences of her actions.

"We want to reassure the honest, dedicated and hardworking staff that work in our prisons that we will continue to take action against people who choose to engage in corrupt activity."

Featured Image Credit: Wales News Service

Topics: Crime, UK News

Tom Wood
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