Category Archives: Prison Officer Suspended

Prison officer admits misconduct in public office

Mark Blake
Mark Blake

A former prison officer who leaked stories to the Sun about a Serco-run immigration centre in west London has pleaded guilty to misconduct in a public office.

While working as a prisoner custody officer, Mark Blake, 42, from Slough, was paid nearly £8,000 for tips about the Colnbrook secure immigration removal centre in Hillingdon which resulted in 10 stories being published by the tabloid newspaper over three years.

As well as naming individuals including a 9/11 plotter, the articles highlighted issues with the way the centre was run with headlines such as “Wiis for foreign lags in UK jails”, “Gastrojail” and “We fund massages for foreign killers”.

Following a trial at the Old Bailey in March, a jury could not agree a verdict on whether Blake’s dealings with the Sun reporter amounted to misconduct.

The Crown Prosecution Service later announced it would pursue a retrial against Blake while dropping the case against his co-accused Tom Wells.

On the day the retrial was scheduled to start, Blake changed his plea to guilty after hearing that he may be spared jail to look after his two children.

colnbrook

Blake’s lawyer Graham Trembath QC had formally applied to judge Mark Lucraft QC for an indication on what the maximum sentence would be if the defendant changed his plea.

In his response, Judge Lucraft noted the impact of the harm caused by the stories was difficult to quantify although it did affect the reputation of Serco and the UK Border Agency and made external recruitment more difficult.

The court heard that Blake had admitted that his motivation was partly financial and partly public interest.

The judge also took into account various factors raised by Mr Trembath including the length of time since the offence and the fact Blake is the primary carer of his two sons, aged six and 13.

He concluded that ordinarily after a trial the maximum sentence would be 18 months in custody, but a guilty plea would reduce that to 15 months.

The judge told the court that a pre-sentence report would be needed to assess the impact of custody on Blake’s children which could provide “strong reasons” for suspending the sentence.

Blake, who sat in the well of the court, pleaded guilty to a single count of misconduct in a public office between January 2008 and December 2010.

He was granted conditional bail until sentencing at the Old Bailey on September 21.

Forest Bank prison officers fired for mocking inmate’s death on Facebook

Two prison officers have been sacked for posting cruel remarks on Facebook after a young prisoner died in custody. The pair, from Forest Bank prison in Salford, made inappropriate comments about the death of Ashley Gill, 25, who died in jail in Liverpool after suffering an asthma attack. It is understood another prison officer at Forest Bank was… Continue Reading

Prison Officer spared jail over illicit prisoner affair

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Drug Smuggling Prison Officer Jailed

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Holloway Prison Officer Jailed

A prison officer has been jailed after she enjoyed a secret lesbian romance with an inmate serving life for murder in a Holloway Prison. Sophia King-Chinnery, 25, embarked on a relationship with Sarah Anderson after she was locked up at the notorious jail in Parkhurst Road for a minimum of 15 years for stabbing a… Continue Reading

Prison Officer Resigns: CPS Drops Charges

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Suspending Five Belmarsh Officers: ‘Perfectly Understandable’

Five prison officers have been suspended after a violent incident involving one of the men accused of killing Fusilier Lee Rigby – in a move which commentators say is ‘perfectly understandable’. They were stopped from working at one of the country’s top-security jails after a struggle with the Woolwich murder suspect. Michael Adebolajo lost two… Continue Reading

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