A senior prison officer who had a sexual relationship with a prisoner in jail was today behind bars herself.
Julie Turton was in charge of ‘M’ Wing at HMP Birmingham in Winson Green when she struck up a relationship with prisoner Danny King.
The 54-year-old from Hembs Crescent, Hamstead, Great Barr, was jailed for two years and eight months at Birmingham Crown Court.
She had pleaded guilty to five charges of misconduct in a public office, and a sixth charge of supply of a class B drug, cannabis.
Prosecuting solicitor Mr Robert Price told the court that Turton had around 15 years’ experience working in the prison service when she started her relationship with King, which lasted for more than a year.
Between June 14, 2012 and July 13, 2013, King phoned Turton’s personal mobile phone using a prison telephone 95 times, and they spoke for a total of 399 minutes.
The prosecution said there was evidence of a sexual relationship between the pair, although they did not know in what form.
In her defence Turton claimed that it was only on two occasions on prison grounds, and that it was just kissing and touching.
A love letter from King, found in Turton’s bedside cabinet by police along with his photograph, was read out in court.
Addressed to ‘my beautiful, sexy Julie’, it said: “To see you every day you are on is like Christmas every day for me.
“You are all I ever want and need.”
She also sent him an ‘intimate photo of herself’ via text message.
Two of the charges relate to mobile phone communications she had with two other inmates, Hamza Islam and her co-defendant Arteef Hussain, who she also struck up friendships with.
She also delivered a stereo system to Islam when he was on a psychiatric wing of the prison, telling staff she was his Aunty Sharon when handing it over. Turton was also sentenced for supply of cannabis, after handing two Kinder Eggs to Hussain’s wife Shelah Arif which contained around £200 of the drug. If sold inside jail, the estimated value would have been around £1,000.
Her defence solicitor Mr Jonathan Parker said her problems started after discovering her husband’s infidelity.
Sentencing her, Recorder Thomas Rochford said: “Prisonsare difficult places to run and that is why mobile phones are forbidden. You knew it was your job to report them, not to use them.
“For someone in your position it defies belief. People like you are trusted.”