Prison teacher jailed for having a relationship with convicted arsonist
PUBLISHED: 06:00 19 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:41 25 February 2020
East Anglia News Service
A prison supply teacher who had a relationship with a convicted arsonist has been jailed.
Melissa Frost, 36, of Arnold Pitcher Close in North Walsham, worked as supply teacher at Wayland Prison near Watton when she developed the intimate friendship between a convicted arsonist.
The pair sent about 100 messages to each other either by phone or letter from September 2017-January 2018.
Frost, who has no previous convictions, lost her job and marriage over the affair which involved kissing and cuddling but no sexual activity.
She was jailed for four months at Norwich Crown Court on February 18 by Judge Stephen Holt for an offence of misconduct in a public office.
Judge Holt said: "You are a woman of good character up until now. The most disturbing feature of this case was that you wrote a letter to the prisoner on behalf of your children implying he made their mummy happy. They knew he was a prisoner.
"This sort of offending goes to the heart of the prison system of opening the door to danger and blackmail and contraband. I have considerable sympathy for you but I have a public duty that anyone working in the prison system who appears in this court as a result of committing this offence must have an immediate custodial sentence."
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Prosecuting, Martin Ivory said Frost's ex-husband, who called her a good mother, suspected she was having an affair but realised it was with a prisoner when he looked at messages on a SIM card.
Frost admitted the offence of misconduct to her prison bosses, police and in court.
Mr Ivory said: "Her ex-husband found messages that expressed love, longing and missing each other."
He added the prisoner who was serving five-and-a-half years for arson and was released in June 2019 used the prison's public phone to communicate with Frost.
The relationship never became sexual but they messaged about kissing and cuddling.
Mitigating David Stewart said: "It has been over two years since the offence was committed. The stress and worry must have caused her unimaginable concern and worry. This was an unlawful act and should not have occurred but there was no risk to security or a breakdown in law and order."