Prison officer who had affair with inmate and smuggled drugs is jailed
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Many women claim to love a bad boy, but hopefully not a convict!
However, one prison officer has been convicted after sending explicit pics to her inmate boyfriend.
Following the affair, former prison officer Joanne Hunter has been sentenced to three years in prison for also smuggling drugs for her jailbird beau.
As she was sent to start her new life behind bars, the 27-year-old sobbed and blew a kiss to her loved ones in Manchester Court.
During her trial, prosecutors heard how Hunter had an inappropriate relationship with inmate Connor Willis and was even convinced she was ‘in love’ with the convict.
Ironically, the cell-crossed lovers didn’t initially like each other when the officer began working at HMP Forest Bank in Salford.
She started working at the prison in December 2018 following the completion of her master’s degree in Childhood and Youth studies.
Willis and Hunter first met in early 2019, though she initially found him 'arrogant and threw his weight around'.
However, it seems that opposites attract as Hunter was soon smuggling cannabis into the prison for her jailbird boyfriend.
Despite being tasked with preventing crime, she would receive packages from a stranger at Tesco but would refuse the £300 offered to her as a reward.
Their affair would finally be detected in December 2020, when authorities at the prison learned about what Hunter had been doing.
She was jailed today for the inappropriate affair carried out while she was employed at HMP Forest Bank in December 2020.
Hunter pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office and she also admitted a charge of bringing or conveying cannabis into the prison.
The shocking details don't end there either, as Manchester Crown Court heard today (6 September) how she sent Willis explicit pictures which were later found on her phone - though she denied the relationship ever became sexual.
Despite this, her legal team described the former prison officer as a ‘naive, impressionable and vulnerable young woman’.
Richard Orme, who represented Hunter, said: "She was ripe for picking for an unscrupulous criminal to take advantage of her in her first job out of education.
“She believed this unscrupulous individual loved her. And she believed it needed to reciprocated and she needed to do what he asked.”
However, recorder Paul Hodgkinson hit back at this image of the 27-year-old, saying she’d acted on her ‘selfish desires’.
He also claimed that Hunter had struck at ‘at the heart of criminal justice system’, putting her colleagues and the inmates she cared for in danger.
The former prison officer will now spend three years in jail for the affair.