Former prison officer jailed for relationship with inmate
A former prison officer who pleaded gulity to nine counts of misconduct in a public office has been sentenced to one year and four months in jail at Bournemouth Crown Court today (28 February).
Rachel Martin, 25, of Woodvill Road, Salisbury, engaged in an emotional and intimate relationship with a serving prisoner at HMP Guys Marsh knowing that it created a conflict of interest and contravened the working practices of HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS).
Between 1 November 2020 and 8 March 2021, Martin sent a parcel addressed to the prisoner containing a quantity of high value designer clothing and footwear. She supplied him with items of female underwear and wilfully communicated with him on a mobile phone. Martin advised him how he could dispose of the phone by saying ‘If anyone comes, you’ll just have to flush it’ and bought a top-up for the device.
Martin also encouraged and assisted communication with two other prisoners on mobile phones that she failed to report they were in possession of.
DI Alastair Quinn of the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SWROCU), said: “Rachel Martin had a clear duty to report her association with a serving prisoner and the possession of phones – if she had done so, appropriate steps could have been taken to stop further contact and prevent it from developing into a relationship at an early stage. However, she chose not to do the right thing and instead took active steps to hide her relationship and the communication she was engaging in.”
SWROCU’s Counter Corruption Unit worked with HMPPS and the Crown Prosecution Service to build a strong a case against Martin.
Prisons Minister Damian Hinds said: “We will never tolerate those few prison officers who break the rules for their own personal gain and undermine the safety of our prisons.
“Though the vast majority of officers carry out their duties to the highest standards, we will always take the strongest possible action against the small minority who fall foul of the law – including those who engage in illicit relationships.”
Anthony Johns, CPS Wessex Senior Crown Prosecutor, said: “As a prison officer and person acting in public office, she was in an important position of trust. Martin would have known that her actions represented a clear breach of that trust, created a serious conflict of interest, and entirely compromised her position.
“People who act otherwise than in accordance with their duties in public office will be brought to justice.”