Shropshire Star

Prison officer spared jail after becoming latest to 'fall in love' with inmate at jail

A woman prison officer was spared jail after becoming the latest to fall in love with an inmate at Britain’s biggest men’s jail.

Roxanne Walker worked at HMP Berwyn. Stock photo

Roxanne Walker, 34, of Molyneux Close, Upton, Merseyside, admitted misconduct in public office at Berwyn prison, Wrexham, and possessing cannabis. She was arrested in October 2021.

At Mold Crown Court on Wednesdsay she received a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, as well as being ordered to complete 200 hours unpaid work and a rehabilitation activity.

Judge Niclas Parry said there was no actual criminality encouraged or assisted. There was no suggestion she passed any drugs or a mobile phone to the prisoner because of her "infatuation".

Judge Parry told Walker: "You are an intelligent young woman. You achieved particularly well during your pre-employment exam. You were fully aware of the importance of maintaining appropriate distance.

“What aggravates the matter is you were observed on numerous occasions to be acting inappropriately and on each occasion you were either given a warning to help you but then you were given a support meeting to further underline what had been emphasised during your training, but you continued.

“When the phones were examined the full extent of your relationship was revealed. You had provided this prisoner with a private number so he could contact you when you were not working. This continued even after the prisoner was moved to another establishment in South Wales.”

The judge added :”The courts must make it clear prison officers who misconduct themselves in this way will face immediate custody in almost every circumstance.”

Prosecutor Ryan Rothwell said during several months in 2021 colleagues at Berwyn had seen behaviour which caused concern. Walker told a manager an occasion on a sofa may have been regarded as “dodgy” but her relationship with prisoner Daniel Carter was just “platonic".

Call monitoring discovered “sexually explicit” chats.

After Walker was arrested, she had declared: "I have made a mistake. I have fallen in love.”

But she insisted there had been no sexual conduct during her time at HMP Berwyn. The guard was sacked in January last year.

Defence barrister Andrew McInnes said Walker’s GP identified a “borderline personality disorder". She was also described as "kind-hearted, caring but perhaps trusting and naive".

Mr McInnes said: "In reality, with the benefit of hindsight, she wasn’t suited to this job in HMP Berwyn.”

“The relationship didn’t progress physically,” he said.

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