Eighteen female guards at ‘Britain’s cushiest jail’ have been fired for having illicit affairs with inmates
- Staff at the prison now have to undergo compulsory training to tackle the issue
- 3 female guards jailed for flings with inmates at HMP Berwyn, Wrexham, Wales
- The category C resettlement and training prison accommodates 2,100 men
Eighteen female guards at ‘Britain’s cushiest jail’ have been fired for having illicit affairs with inmates.
Figures discovered in Freedom of Information requests found that the relationships took place over the past six years at HMP Berwyn, Britain’s biggest prison.
The information follows three of the women ending up in court following the illicit liaisons at the Wrexham jail in North Wales.
Mark Fairhurst, chair of the Prison Officers’ Association, blamed the relationships on the hiring of ‘the wrong kind of women’.
He told the Mirror: ‘Staff being recruited don’t have face-to-face interviews… it’s all done on Zoom.
Eighteen female guards at HMP Berwyn in Wrexham, North Wales a Category C prison, have been fired for having illicit affairs with inmates
Ex prison officer Jennifer Gavan, left, was jailed for eight months after she smuggled a mobile phone into the prison for her lover Alex Coxon, right. She sent Coxon intimate messages and photographs over Snapchat
‘A lot of people getting these jobs don’t have enough life experience and are susceptible to conditioning from prisoners.
‘Your figures just prove what we’ve been warning the employer about for years.’
Among the guards guilty of initiating relationships with prisoners at £250 million super prison which houses Category C adult male offenders was Jennifer Gavan, 27, Ayshea Gunn, 27, and Emily Watson, 26.
Most recently, Gavan was jailed for eight months in December following her relations with prisoner Alex Coxon, 25.
She had sent intimate photos of herself to prisoner Coxon on Snapchat and kissed him during the relationship between April and July 2020.
She also smuggled a mobile phone behind bars for Coxon.
Gavan, of Llay, Wrexham, pleaded guilty to misconduct in public at Mold Crown Court after she accepted £150 to bring in the mobile phone.
The relationship came just one year after fellow officer Ayshea Gunn, 27, had a fling with ‘dangerous’ inmate Khuram Razaq, 29.
Prison officer Ayshea Gunn, left, was jailed for one year at Mold Crown Court in 2019 after having an affair with dangerous criminal Khuram Razaq, right, at HMP Berwyn in North Wales
Emily Watson, left, was jailed for one year after she performed a sex act on inmate John McGee
A search of Gunn’s bedroom revealed snaps of the pair kissing and hugging also with mobile phone pictures taken in his cell. She was subsequently jailed for one year at Mold Crown Court in 2019.
Officer Emily Watson, 26, was jailed for one year in April 2019 at the same court for performing a sex act on an inmate in his cell.
Given that Watson spent so much time with John McGee at the prison, staff soon became suspicious and launched an investigation.
Mold Crown Court heard they had been alone together in his cell on three occasions when she performed a sex act on him twice and had intercourse once.
Inmates at the prison which has 2,100 men also have outdoor pitches they can use
A cell at HMP Berwyn in a photo from 2017 – rooms all have a phone for outgoing calls
Some 31 female officers in England and Wales have been dismissed for inappropriate relationships since 2019, according to statistics from the Ministry of Justice.
Staff at the prison, which opened in 2017, have now had to undergo compulsory new training in a bid to tackle such issues at the 2,100-capacity jail.
The prison, previously dubbed ‘UK’s cushiest jail’ by an MP, gives inmates access to a wide range of education and training services, vocational qualifications, access to a full-sized sports hall, weights and fitness room and outdoor pitches, and several methods of being able to communicate with friends and family in the outside world.
A Prison Service spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice said: ‘The vast majority of Prison Service staff are hardworking and honest but we are doing more than ever to catch the small number who break the rules.’
MailOnline has contacted the Prison Officers’ Association for comment.
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