Prison officer jailed after exchanging explicit messages with inmate
prison officer has been sentenced to 16 months in jail after sending hundreds of explicit messages and smuggling designer clothes to an inmate.
Rachel Martin worked at HMP Guys Marsh and admitted to an “emotional or intimate” relationship with prisoner Raymond Abraham.
Last October she pleaded guilty to eight charges of misconduct and a single charge of encouraging the possession of a mobile phone in prison at Bournemouth Crown Court.
On Tuesday, Martin reappeared at the same court where Judge Stephen Climie heard she made hundreds of phone and video calls to Abraham between November 2020 and March 2021.
The 25-year-old provided a parcel to Abraham containing “high-value designer clothes and footwear” as well as “female underwear”.
Abraham identified you as a potentially vulnerable candidate for grooming and it was effective and resulted in a degree of intimacy
The court was told Martin received at least £10,000 on Abraham’s behalf, spending thousands of pounds on online clothing websites.
Messaging a friend on Facebook who asked what others think about the relationship, Martin replied: “Others can see how happy I am when I’m on the phone to him, how much he helps me money-wise as he pays all my bills and treats me to anything that I want.”
Martin stayed in contact with Abraham using two different illicit mobile phones he stored in his cell, advising him to “flush it” down the toilet if his cell was searched.
As well as hundreds of calls, the pair exchanged 900 WhatsApp messages within the four-month period, some of which were of an explicit nature “expressing desire to perform sexual acts on each other”, and they declared their love for each other in December 2020.
Abraham, who is 17 years Martin’s senior, was described as having a “significant criminal history”.
In mitigation, the court heard Martin had been diagnosed with ADHD and was likely suffering from a depressive episode when the relationship with Abraham developed.
The court also heard Martin “deeply regrets” her actions as she was “infatuated” with Abraham and her weaknesses were “exploited” by him.
Sentencing, Judge Climie said: “You started your employment as a prison officer at the beginning of 2020 and, despite your training, you failed to follow the guidance.
“I am satisfied that Abraham identified you as a potentially vulnerable candidate for grooming and it was effective and resulted in a degree of intimacy, both face to face and also on messaging.
“It also involved you agreeing to convey items like clothing with a high monetary value.
“You received at least £10,000 and a significant part of your offending involved personal gain by way of the money, and as a consequence the sentence is 16 months immediate imprisonment.”
Martin, of Salisbury in Wiltshire, denied a 10th charge of supplying Abraham with a mobile phone which the prosecution indicated would lie on file.
She sobbed in the courtroom as the sentence was handed down.
Prisons minister Damian Hinds said: “We will never tolerate those few prison officers who break the rules for their own personal gain and undermine the safety of our prisons.
“Though the vast majority of officers carry out their duties to the highest standards, we will always take the strongest possible action against the small minority who fall foul of the law, including those who engage in illicit relationships.”