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Health worker at HMP Norwich jailed after relationship with inmate

PUBLISHED: 16:57 08 January 2019

Norwich Prison. Photo : Steve Adams

Norwich Prison. Photo : Steve Adams

Copyright Archant Norfolk 2015

A former health care worker at Norwich Prison who admitted having a relationship with an inmate has been jailed.

A man denied the ill-treatment of three people in his care when he appeared at Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian JuddA man denied the ill-treatment of three people in his care when he appeared at Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd

Jayne Walker, 45, had worked as a care professional for Virgin Healthcare at the Knox Road jail since 2015.

Norwich Crown Court heard that she committed an offence of misconduct in a public office following a relationship she had with a prisoner between May and September 2017.

Martin Ivory, prosecuting, said as part of her induction Walker was warned about the dangers of becoming involved with prisoners and signed a conflict of interest register to confirm she had understood.

But Mr Ivory said there became “concerns about her involvement with a prisoner”.

It followed observations made on CCTV of her going into his cell on four separate occasions on one day despite having no reason to be there.

Mr Ivory said “it became quite clear there was an ongoing relationship between the prisoner and defendant”.

A search was carried out of the prisoner’s cell and it was clear items had been brought into the cell, bypassing security.

One of the items was a ring, which she accepts she brought in.

It also became clear the prisoner had been using an illicit phone and although the defendant did not bring that in for him she failed to report it.

Mr Ivory said she decided she would continue the relationship rather than report he had access to and possession of an illicitly held mobile phone.

Mr Ivory said Walker made full admissions to what she had done and also wrote a letter of resignation from her job.

Walker, whose previous address was Janet Smith Close, Thorpe St Andrew, appeared at Norwich Crown Court on Tuesday having pleaded guilty to the offence.

Sentencing Walker to six months imprisonment Judge Katharine Moore said the offence was so serious that “only immediate custody is justified”.

Lynne Shirley, mitigating, said Walker, who has no previous convictions, was “extremely sorry and remorseful”.

She said the defendant was “extremely vulnerable” having just separated from her previous partner who she had been with since she was 17.

Miss Shirley said Walker “accepts her responsibility” but added the defendant was “manipulated” by the prisoner.

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