Staff at UK's biggest prison undergo 'corruption prevention training'

Staff at UK’s biggest prison undergo ‘corruption prevention training’ after three female guards were jailed for having flings with inmates

  • Three female prison guards at HMP Berwyn in Wrexham have been imprisoned 
  • Jennifer Gavan, Ayshea Gunn and Emily Watson all had affairs with inmates 
  • The £250m Category C super prison has a capacity of 2,100 male inmates 

Three women guards at Britain’s biggest prison were jailed for flings with inmates – and 500 staff are getting training to tackle the problem.

Shamed prison staff Jennifer Gavan, 27, Ayshea Gunn, 27, and Emily Watson, 26, have all been jailed within the last three years for sparking relationships with prisoners.

The secret affairs took place at £250 million super prison HMP Berwyn in Wrexham, North Wales, which houses Category C adult male offenders.

Staff at the prison have now been undergoing training in a bid to tackle corruption at the 2,100-capacity jail.

Prison officer Ayshea Gunn, pictured right kissing inmate Khuram Razaq inside his cell at HMP Berwyn in Wrexham, North Wales, was jailed for the affair

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

It comes after Gavan was jailed for eight months in December after smuggling a mobile phone behind bars for prisoner Alex Coxon, 25.

A court heard she sent photos of herself to the inmate on Snapchat and kissed him during the relationship between April and July 2020.

Gavan, of Llay, Wrexham, pleaded guilty to misconduct in public at Mold Crown Court after she accepted £150 to bring in the mobile phone.

Judge Niclas Parry said: ‘I express my surprise that employees at HMP Berwyn are writing in support of her and are critical of other employees at Berwyn.

‘That is a matter I think should be brought to the attention of the authorities at the prison.’

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

Emily Watson, left, was jailed for one year after she performed a sex act on inmate John McGee

The relationship came just one year after fellow officer Ayshea Gunn, 27, had a fling with ‘dangerous’ inmate Khuram Razaq, 29.

The criminology and psychology graduate made numberous sexual phone calls to Razaq while he was serving a 12 year sentence for conspiracy to rob.

A search of Gunn’s bedroom revelaed snaps of the pair kissing and hugging also with mobile phone picutres taken in his cell.

A court heard Gunn also smuggled in a pair of knickers for the prisoner inside her bra.

She was jailed for one year at Mold Crown Court in 2019.

Fellow officer Emily Watson, 26, was jailed for one year at the same court for performing a sex act on an inmate in his cell.

Watson spent so much time with John McGee at the prison that 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.

Watson, of Huddersfield, was jailed for one year in April 2019.

Watson, pictured in handcuffs being led away to prison to serve her 12-month sentence handed down at Mold Crown Court

Fellow staff got suspicious of Watson, pictured, over the amount of time she spent in McGee’s cell

HMP Berwyn in Wrexham, North Wales is a Category C prison which can house up to 2,100 inmates

The Prison Service said the most recent independent inspection into HMP Berwyn found security arrangements were good.

Jail staff are being vetted every ten years and the service is piloting social media checks for some ‘higher risk’ roles such as prison officers.

Enhanced gate security has also been introduced to help tackle against any staff who might attempt to smuggle illicit items behind bars.

A Prison Service spokesman said: ‘The overwhelming majority of Prison Service staff are hardworking and dedicated and we will not hesitate to punish those who break the rules.

‘Over 500 members of staff at HMP Berwyn have undertaken corruption prevention training in the last 18 months and our enhanced security is protecting the prison against attempts to smuggle illicit items inside.’

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