Category Archives: Prison officer jailed
A female prison officer has been jailed for a forbidden romance with a jailed man, Scotland Yard said.
Yasemin Ozyukselen, 24, of Peregrine Road, Waltham Abbey, Essex, met the man while taking him from a prisoner van into Snaresbrook Crown Court for breaching his licence in April 2011.
The pair crossed paths again when he was up for trial later that year on charges including kidnap, rape and blackmail, and exchanged passionate messages while he served time in HMP Belmarsh.
Ozyukselen was today sentenced to 10 months at Southwark Crown Court after pleading guilty earlier this year to misconduct in a public office for an inappropriate relationship and improper contact with a prisoner.
Officers from the London Prison Anti-Corruption Team first cottoned on to the long-distance affair after they received intelligence suggesting Ozyukselen was in contact with someone inside Belmarsh prison.
Records showed an inmate had called her mobile phone, and in recordings of their conversations officers heard the pair discuss meeting up when he got out of prison.
When she was arrested in June last year, Ozyukselen at first denied knowing the man or that he had her number.
But police discovered seven love letters and a scrap of newspaper in her bedside drawer with his name, “HMP Belmarsh”, a mobile number and the words “Give me your number if you want” written on it.
In the letters, the man referred to his sweetheart as “Yas”, “babe” and “princess” and answered her questions.
One, dated January 9 2012, read: “Wow you dressed up today I wonder who that was for EHEM EHEM.”
In the same missive he spoke of his jealousy at seeing her handcuffed to other men and said she had been kind and sweet to him, adding: “for eg, all the time you asked me do I need anything or am I OK.”
Another letter dated January 4 2012 read: “Since the day I came back from the day I got your number there’s been something about you I don’t know what it is… Honestly do you want to meet my family or are you just saying that you do.”
After the letters emerged, Ozyukselen claimed that he was a “crazy person” but admitted she had not told her employers that she was in contact with a prisoner, which broke the terms of her contract. She initially pleaded not guilty to the charges in November.
Detective Constable Rob Hinson said: “Ozyukselen’s position as a prisoner escort garnered huge public trust and she abused that by indulging in a forbidden relationship with a prisoner.
“The fact that she met this man knowing he was a prisoner, while she was at work and where it was her task to oversee him at times makes her betrayal all the more shocking.
“So the fact that she went on to lie to the police and the court about it initially, despite the damning evidence, is truly remarkable.
“Today’s sentence is well deserved and a warning to anyone else toying with abusing such a position of trust.”
Three corrupt female prison officers, one of who had sexual intercourse with a convicted rapist three times inside a maximum security prison, have lost their appeals against conviction.
Karen Cosford (above), 47, had sex with inmate Brian McBride, who was serving a life sentence at Wakefield Prison, during a relationship that lasted several months had her appeal dismissed by the Court of Appeal headed by Lord Justice Leveson.
Two of her colleagues, Carolyn Falloon and Jacqueline Flynn, who were also jailed for “covering up” the affair and “abusing their position of trust” also lost their appeals against conviction.
All three had appealed their convictions of misconduct in public office on the basis that they were technically prison nurses and not prison officers, with the result they claimed that they could not be convicted of misconduct in an office they did not hold.
Dismissing the appeals Lord Justice Leveson said :”In our judgment, the [argument] that “a nurse is a nurse” does not start to do justice to the task which these appellants undertook.
“The responsibilities of a nurse in a general hospital are to the patients for whose care they are responsible; the responsibilities of a nurse (whether trained as a prison officer or not) in a prison setting are not only for the welfare of the prisoners (their patients); they are also responsible to the public for, so far as it is within their power to do so, the proper, safe and secure running of the prison in which they work.
“Whether the prison is run directly by the state or indirectly through a private company paid by the state to perform this function does not alter the public nature of the duties of those undertaking the work: the responsibilities to the public are identical.
“These appeals are dismissed”
A former police constable and a prison officer have been jailed for selling information to the Sun newspaper.
Ex-Surrey Pc Alan Tierney and Richard Trunkfield, who worked at high security Woodhill prison near Milton Keynes, were both sentenced at the Old Bailey.
Tierney, 40, sold details of the separate arrests of footballer John Terry’s mother and Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood, while Trunkfield passed on details about one of James Bulger’s killers, Jon Venables.
They both admitted misconduct in public office earlier this month.
Trunkfield has since resigned from Woodhill prison and Venables is no longer being held there, the court heard.
He received 16 months, while Tierney was jailed for 10 months.
Passing sentence on both men in separate hearings today, Mr Justice Fulford said: “This country has long prided itself on the integrity of its public officials and cynical acts of betrayal of that high standard have a profoundly corrosive effect.”
A prison nurse who had an affair with a convicted rapist at a top security jail has been locked up for three years.
Karen Cosford, 47, had sex with inmate Brian McBride, who was serving a life sentence at Wakefield Prison, during a relationship that lasted several months.
Three of her colleagues were also jailed for a total of more than four years for “covering up” the affair and “abusing their position of trust”.
Cosford sent the prisoner intimate text messages on a smuggled mobile phone in which she told him he was “dead sexy” and that she loved him.
In a love letter, which was found hidden in a jar of sugar, she described him as her “knight in shining armour” and graphically described how she would have sex with him.
She also performed a sex act on McBride, who claimed he was hugely wealthy and promised her large sums of money, while on duty as two colleagues, Carolyn Falloon and Jacqueline Flynn, guarded his cell.
On another occasion Falloon caught her having sex with the inmate in the medical unit.
Cosford, of Normanton, West Yorkshire, who worked in the jail’s medical centre, denied misconduct, claiming McBride raped her then intimidated her so she would not report it.
During a trial at Leeds Crown Court that lasted almost four weeks, she said he threatened to kill her and her family if she told anybody about their relationship.
But jurors rejected the claim after hearing how the prison nurse became inappropriately close to the inmate and struck up a sexual relationship.
The affair was exposed when McBride’s cell was searched and he told Cosford’s husband Darrie, a prison officer, that he had been having sex with his wife.
Cosford denied all charges but last week she was found guilty of misconduct by engaging in a sexual relationship with an inmate. She was also found guilty of failing to tell prison authorities that McBride had a mobile and bringing in top-ups on behalf of the prisoner.
Health care officer Carolyn Falloon, 50, of Wakefield, and nurse Jacqueline Flynn, 46, from Pontefract, were found guilty of failing to report the relationship and not reporting McBride’s mobile phone. Falloon was also found guilty of supplying McBride with mobile top-ups.
Another of their colleagues, health care officer Kevin Wilson, 57, also of Normanton, earlier pleaded guilty to failing to notify authorities of Cosford’s relationship, failing to tell authorities he had a mobile phone and supplying McBride with a Sim card.
Sentencing all four at Bradford Crown Court, Judge David Hatton QC said evidence suggested that “evil” McBride manipulated staff by claiming he had amassed great wealth and had links to the criminal underworld.
He was seen as a “privileged” and “protected” prisoner by some senior managers at the jail, the judge said.
But all the defendants should have known better and inevitably faced jail, he said.
“It’s a sad business indeed when four people of mature years and previous good character, public servants who have devoted several years to their vocation, should find themselves to be sentenced for having abused their position of trust,” he said.
“These acts and omissions each constituted a gross breach of security in a prison housing dangerous criminals.
“Each of you was aware at the time that your conduct constituted a significant breach of responsibility.
“I don’t lose sight of the undoubted fact that each of you fell under the evil spell of the same unusually deceitful, manipulative prisoner Brian McBride but each of you were experienced and each of you had the power and duty to avoid that.
“The misconduct in this case is so serious that only a custodial sentence can be appropriate.”
Judge Hatton said Cosford abused her position of trust and was motivated by perceived financial enhancement” after McBride boasted to her that he was a “man of means and influence”.
He sentenced her to three years in jail.
Falloon and Flynn were placed in a “genuine dilemma” by their split loyalties but acted entirely inappropriately, the judge said as he jailed them for 21 months and 15 months respectively.
Wilson, who appeared as a witness during the trial, was granted credit for his guilty plea. But Judge Hatton said the evidence he gave was “unconvincing and in parts untruthful” and jailed him for 15 months.
Following the hearing, a HM Prison Service spokesperson said in a statement: “The vast majority of our staff are honest and hard-working.
“There is no place for corrupt members of staff in the Prison Service and we work closely with the police to identify them and will always press for the most serious charges to be brought against them.”
Mark Leech, editor of Converse, the national newspaper for prisons in England and Wales, said Cosford “ignored professional boundaries” and “compromised the integrity of her colleagues”.
He added: “She deserves a lengthy custodial sentence to punish her for the audacity of her offending, and her arrogance in thinking she could get away with it, but also to send a clear message to other prison staff who might be contemplating similar catastrophic conduct.”
Two female prison officers have been jailed after admitting they had inappropriate relationships with serving prisoners in Worcestershire in a “serious abuse of the public’s trust”.
Jodie Pugh, 30, and 25-year-old Danielle Ofkants formed the relationships as part of their jobs at HMP Hewell in Redditch.
Between November 2010 and September last year, the two women also encouraged prisoners to use mobile phones, which are prohibited at the prison.
Detective Inspector Gerry Smith of West Mercia Police said that an investigation began after the prison authorities reported their suspicions about the officers’ conduct.
Inquiries established that Pugh was having inappropriate relationships with one or more serving inmates and had made unauthorised visits to them, using a false name on one occasion to see one of them at a jail in Scotland.
She also had unauthorised telephone conversations with prisoners, supplying one with a mobile phone and also providing top-up vouchers. Ofkants also had unauthorised meetings and telephone conversations and in doing so had encouraged the use of illicitly-held mobile phones.
On one occasion both Pugh and Ofkants visited Star City in Birmingham with a prisoner, and Pugh had a meal out with the same inmate at a Broad Street restaurant in the city.
Both women admitted wilful misconduct in a public office and at Worcester Crown Court. Pugh was jailed for two and a half years while Ofkants was given a 12 month term.
Stephanie Roberts-Bibby, governor of HMP Hewell, said: “We remain committed to identifying and eradicating all forms of staff wrongdoing. Where staff develop an inappropriate relationship with a prisoner they put themselves and their colleagues at risk, potentially undermining the safety of the prison.
“The sentence received by Pugh and Ofkants reflects the seriousness of the offence. Staff should be commended for their perseverance and dedication in this case.”
A judge has warned a police officer that he may be jailed after being found guilty of assaulting a man he was trying to arrest.
Timothy Allatt, 33, a Nottinghamshire Police constable, was found guilty at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court of assaulting Jake Bramley in the early hours of July 25 last year.
District Judge Diane Baker told Allatt that after hearing two full days of evidence she did not accept that he used reasonable force in detaining Mr Bramley who was being pursued by officers on suspicion of stealing a car.
She said she was satisfied by evidence that Allatt hit Mr Bramley, threw him against a wall and then dragged him face down on to the floor before kicking him in the chest area.
She told Allatt, who sat next to his solicitor and looked down at his clasped hands and up at the judge as she spoke, that in normal circumstances she would hand out a community order for an assault conviction but his case had aggravating factors.
“Those aggravating factors are that this was a sustained assault,” she said.
“It was a sustained assault on a member of the public by a serving police officer.”
She continued: “At this stage I cannot rule out a custodial sentence.”
The judge told Allatt that when considering sentence she would take into account that he was a highly trained authorised firearms officer, that he had received four commendations in his 11 years as a policeman and that he was widely respected.
She told the court it was not said that Allatt caused all of Mr Bramley’s injuries – he was treated as an in-patient at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham for a collapsed lung and facial injuries following the incident – but she could not ignore the seriousness of his conviction and her duty to protect the public.
She added: “This was a gross breach of his position as a police officer.”
She granted Allatt unconditional bail and adjourned his case to September 28 for pre-sentence reports.
Speaking outside the courtroom, Allatt’s solicitor, Damian Kelly, said there would be no comment until he had been sentenced.
Last week the court heard that Allatt, who denied the offence, chased Mr Bramley through Sneinton, Nottingham, as he ran from police after they attempted to stop his silver Ford Fiesta as it was a suspected stolen vehicle.
Pc Daniel Moss, who was on duty that night, told the court that after being chased Mr Bramley was cornered by police and then Allatt assaulted him.
Mr Bramley was punched, grabbed, and kicked in the rib cage by Allatt, according to Pc Moss.
His account was to be believed over Allatt’s, Ms Baker said.
Allatt said Mr Bramley, who was 22 at the time, looked “agitated” and “appeared to be in a fighting stance”, which influenced the former policeman’s actions at the time.
He said he carried out a “palm heel strike” as a distraction blow, which hit Mr Bramley on the left side of his face near his ear, and pushed and pulled Mr Bramley with both arms to bring him to the ground and make a lawful arrest.
He said he did not kick him, drag him, or throw him against a wall.
Mr Bramley was arrested and taken to Queen’s Medical Centre at around 2.30am after he complained of chest pains.
Ms Baker said she did not find Allatt’s account as he was on the witness stand to be plausible, nor did she accept that Pc Moss may have made up the allegation against him because he was derided by fellow officers after the incident for failing to keep hold of Mr Bramley when he managed to grab on to his tracksuit top as he ran past him that night.
Part of Allatt’s evidence was that Pc Moss was not in the position he said he was at the time Allatt came into contact with Mr Bramley and could not have witnessed any alleged assault.
But Ms Baker said she was satisfied from evidence that Pc Moss could in fact have been close to Allatt at the time and could have seen his aggressive behaviour.
Allatt also did not tell the custody sergeant he had struck Mr Bramley when he was booking him in, nor did he record it on the standard police “use of force” forms that all officers have to complete when they have used force to restrain an individual.
During the trial, the court also heard that Allatt was dismissed in April this year after a police tribunal made a finding against him for unreasonable force.
But it was in relation to a separate matter and a different man who, the court heard, Allatt pushed against a wall after he got out of his police vehicle at speed in an aggressive manner.
Allatt has since appealed against the decision, but Ms Baker said it showed “bad character in the form of previous reprehensible behaviour”.
Nottinghamshire Police said Allatt was suspended after an Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)inquiry, and while this was ongoing, was dismissed from the force for another matter.
Acting Detective Superintendent Mick Windmill-Jones, from the Professional Standards Directorate, said: “The public rightly expect their police officers to demonstrate in all they do the very highest standards of behaviour, integrity and professionalism.
“When an officer fails to display these qualities and commits a criminal offence, they can expect, like any other member of society, to be prosecuted in a court of law.
“Tim Allatt acted outside the code of conduct set for every officer by using excessive force and causing injury to another person. We referred this to the IPCC and a full investigation was launched.
“Today’s guilty verdict reflects the severity of what Allatt did, and shows the way he abused his position with a total lack of regard for his responsibility to protect the public.”
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said Allatt was dismissed from Nottinghamshire Police in April after a misconduct hearing relating to another alleged assault on a member of the public in Nottingham.
A spokesman said the misconduct proceedings arose from a separate IPCC independent investigation into the allegation that Allatt assaulted a 23-year-old man who was walking home drunk in Woodborough Road on January 16 last year.
The spokesman said Allatt was in a marked police car when he spotted the man walking along the pavement and stopped, grabbed the man and pushed him back into a door before driving off.
The IPCC said the CPS chose not to bring any criminal charge in the case, but the misconduct hearing found that, on the balance of probabilities, Allatt did assault the man and, by leaving him on the street, failed in his duty to make sure the man was safe.
IPCC Commissioner Len Jackson said: “While a police officer is entitled to use force where necessary to defend themselves or members of the public, the level of force used by Mr Allatt on these occasions was unjustifiable and excessive.
“The public rightly has high expectations of the conduct of police officers and this officer clearly failed to meet such expectations.
“As the earlier misconduct hearing ruled, his actions were inconsistent with the office of a police constable.
“I am pleased the force took the appropriate step some time ago, following an IPCC investigation, to ensure he is no longer a serving police officer. His actions do no credit to the considerable majority of police officers who act with suitable restraint and professionalism on a day-to-day basis.”