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.”