Prison officer jailed after sending ‘explicit’ messages to inmate

A prison officer has been jailed after sending explicit messages and admitting an “emotional or intimate” relationship with an inmate. Rachel Martin was sentenced to 16 months in jail after pleading guilty to eight charges of misconduct and a single charge of encouraging the possession of a mobile phone in prison at Bournemouth Crown Court. During her relationship with prisoner Raymond Abraham, at HMP Guys Marsh, Dorset, Martin sent thousands of messages as well as parcels containing designer clothes and female underwear.

The court heard that the relationship is said to have taken place between November 2020 and March 2021 at which time Martin made hundreds of phone and video calls to the inmate.

Marin also received at least £10,000 on Abraham’s behalf, telling a friend he was paying for her bills “for as long as I need”.

Martin spent the cash on shopping sprees of designer clothes and electrical goods.

Bournemouth Crown Court heard that Martin advised Abraham to dispose of the phone and “flush it” if anyone came to search his cell.

Hundreds of calls and around 900 WhatsApp messages were found following a search of Abraham’s cell, where a mobile phone, two USB sticks and an SD card were found.

Women’s underwear was also found underneath his pillow.

Several days earlier Martin was subject to a random search where a vibrator was found in her pocket.

She later resigned but the relationship continued.

Martin was arrested in April 2021 and her home was searched where two mobile phones were recovered. 

The court heard that Martin “deeply regrets” her actions, saying her weaknesses were “exploited” by Abraham but said she “failed to follow the guidance” despite her training. 

Judge Stephen Climie was satisfied that the defence identifies as a “potentially vulnerable candidate for grooming”.

He said: “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.”

Prisons Minister Damian Hinds added: “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.”

Martin, of Salisbury in Wiltshire, denied a tenth charge of supplying Abraham with a mobile phone which the prosecution indicated would lie on file.

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