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Thursday, 10 August 2017

Female prison officer jailed over relationship with young offenders unit inmate

Written by Nina Massey

A female prison officer who had an inappropriate relationship with an inmate at a youth offenders unit has been jailed.

Chelsea Blackwell, 27, exchanged more than 850 messages with the 21-year-old man between July 12 and August 6 last year.

Around 115 calls, some lasting more than two hours, were also made, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

After the male inmate's phone was seized following a cell search at Aylesbury Young Offenders Institution in Buckinghamshire, Blackwell used a second "dirty phone" to make five calls.

She also wrote four letters that were discovered in his cell, and more were found at her home in Bootle, Merseyside.

A forensic handwriting report concluded there was "very strong evidence" Blackwell had written all of them.

The inmate had been jailed for seven years for wounding with intent.

Last month Blackwell pleaded guilty at Aylesbury Crown Court to misconduct in a public office, and on Thursday she was sentenced to eight months imprisonment.

Blackwell, who had been a prison officer at the institution since 2015, pleaded guilty to misconduct in a public office on July 20.

Senior Crown Prosecutor Louise Attrill said: "The CPS put together a robust case using mobile phone data, cell site analysis and handwriting analysis to show Blackwell abused her position as a prison officer.

"She initially denied any wrongdoing but the evidence was strong and she ultimately pleaded guilty to misconduct in a public office.

"Incidents like this by prison officers are extremely rare but they amount to an abuse of the public's trust which has the potential to lead to corruption or blackmail. They are treated with the utmost seriousness."

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2017, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Michael Stephens / PA Wire.