Female prison officer sent sexually explicit vids of herself to inmate lover

A female prison officer who sent explicit videos of herself to a male inmate on a phone she smuggled into the jail has been given an eight-month sentence of her own.

Jennifer Gavan, 27, pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office from April to July 2020 after conducting an inappropriate relationship with Alex Coxon, who is now 25.

It was revealed at Mold Crown Court that she was paid £150 to smuggle the phone into HMP Berwyn – a prison in Wrexham that holds more than 2,000 men.

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Gavan, from Wrexham, broke down in tears when she learned her fate.

Since the relationship with Coxon, the former shop assistant manager has had a seven-month-old son to a new partner during the delay in bringing the case to court.

Coxon, of Kinmel Bay near Rhyl, was jailed for 10 months after confessing that he had a prohibited item in Berwyn.

His previous convictions included drug offences and robbery but, despite his serious criminal record, Gavan arranged to be alone with him in the prison when he was on cleaning duty.

The pair were rumbled when the phone was found in Coxon's cell under a prison laptop.

Defence barrister Maria Masselis said Gavan "still struggles to explain why and how she came to be doing the things that she was doing. It was obviously a particularly low point in her life. She had just come out of a very lengthy relationship".

Miss Masselis added that Gavan had "self-esteem issues" and felt particular empathy towards inmates during the Covid-19 lockdown when they were unable to take family visits.

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"She felt ill-equipped to deal with a wing of 80 male prisoners, on occasions on her own for periods of time," Miss Masselis added.

The barrister also referenced Gavan's "immaturity" and "naivety" and claimed she had felt "manipulated" into believing she was in a relationship with Coxon, which led to her expressing her love for him and sending him the explicit images.

"She says her conduct in relation to these matters feels as if it relates to a different person," counsel added.

Judge Parry told Gavan: "The courts must make it clear that prison officers who misconduct themselves will face immediate custody in almost every circumstance. You are an intelligent young lady.

"You held employment involving a position of trust. This matter is so serious only an immediate custodial sentence can be justified."

Judge Parry added that mobile phones undermined prison safety, while recognising that Gavan had acted "entirely out of character" and was genuinely remorseful.


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