A prison nurse has told a court she was attacked in a cell by a convicted rapist who threatened to kill her and her family if she told anybody.
Karen Cosford, 47, told Leeds Crown Court she felt “terrified” when inmate Brian McBride pushed her on to his bed in Wakefield Prison, West Yorkshire, and raped her.
She told the jury she did not report the attack because McBride made a number of threats, including saying he would post secretly recorded images of her on to a pay-per-view website and burn down her house with her family inside.
Cosford, who worked in the medical centre at the prison, is charged with having a sexual relationship with a prisoner.
The married prison worker, of Normanton, West Yorks, “grossly breached the trust placed in her” and compromised prison security by having sex with McBride, prosecutors have said.
She denies misconduct in a public office.
Cosford first met McBride, who worked as a cleaner at the medical centre where he was also an in-patient, in 2004 when she returned to work in the prison after maternity leave.
She said she had concerns about McBride and his familiarity with certain members of staff and told the court how prison governors would often chat to him in his cell.
Cosford, who gave her evidence in a quiet voice, often dabbing her eyes with a tissue, said McBride would tell her details about his life, including a sister who worked in the security industry and a period of time spent in the SAS.
She said he told her about gangland crimes he had witnessed, including seeing someone being fed to pigs.
Cosford described McBride as “believable” and said she never questioned anything he said.
“The impression I got was he was quite a trusted individual, always pleasant,” she said.
In March or April 2008, Cosford said McBride invited her into his cell on an evening when there was only one other member of staff on duty in the health centre.
She said: “I vaguely remember him putting his hand on my shoulder and telling me not to worry. I was starting to get a little bit panicky. I wasn’t comfortable with the situation.
“Then the next thing I remember happening was he pushed me from the back of my neck on to the bed. He spun me round, he ended up on top of me on the bottom of his bed.”
Cosford said McBride pulled down her trousers and raped her.
She said: “It was horrific. I was just terrified. I wanted to get out of there, I wanted it over with. I remember thinking he was going to kill me. I kept telling him to get off me.”
She said the attack lasted a few minutes and after he had let her go and she had shut and locked the door, he told her: “If I was a rapist, I would have continued.”
Cosford, who is 5ft 3in, said she did not fight McBride, described as towering over her, because “you do whatever you do just to survive the experience”.
She went home and did not tell her husband, who also worked at the prison, or make a complaint because she said she felt “humiliated” and “violated”.
She added: “I questioned myself as to whether I’d allowed it to happen. Whether I’d put myself in that position, would anybody ever believe me.”
When she next saw McBride at the prison, he said there was a secret camera in his stereo system and his sister had got images of her on film which she would put on a pay-per-view website, Cosford told the court.
She said he made it clear that he knew where she lived and which school her son went to and made threats against her and her family.
She said: “(He said) he would kill my family and my son in a fire if I ever opened my mouth.”
Cosford added: “I lived under constant fear that things would happen.”
She said McBride began calling her at home and on her mobile phone.
Cosford is also charged with failing to tell authorities McBride had a mobile phone and supplying him with mobile top-up vouchers. She denies both charges.
She told the jury she saw McBride with a mobile phone in his cell but did not report it because he showed her icons on the handset which he said were the pictures of her which would be put on the internet.
Cosford also told the jury she provided McBride with top-ups for the phone.
She said he told her it was for her benefit so he could speak to his sister by phone to prevent her from putting the pictures on the internet.
Three of Cosford’s medical centre colleagues also face various misconduct charges.
Carolyn Falloon, 50, of Wakefield, and Jacqueline Flynn, 46, from Pontefract, deny charges of failing to report the relationship and not reporting McBride’s mobile phone.
Falloon also denies supplying McBride with mobile top-ups and David Sunderland, 49, of Wakefield, denies not reporting McBride’s mobile phone.
The trial continues.