Karen Cosford

Karen Cosford

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”

See the Background to the convictions here