Newly qualified prison officer Hayley Youngman, 21, given suspended sentence for smuggling phones and drugs into Whitemoor

HMP Whitemoor

HMP Whitemoor - Credit: Archant

A prison officer who abused her position of trust to smuggle phones and drugs into prison has been spared a jail sentence.

Hayley Youngman of West Fen Road, Ely, pleaded guilty to two counts of misconduct in public office, conveying prohibited articles into a prison and possession of cannabis.

The 21-year-old, who began her role as a prison officer at HMP Whitemoor in September last year, appeared at Cambridge Crown Court today (October 20) where she was handed a 12 month jail sentence, suspended for two years.

While also ordering Youngman to do 300 hours of unpaid work, the Judge acknowledged her remorse but said she was “lucky not to be going to prison”.

The court heard how Youngman smuggled synthetic cannabis, mobile phones, and SIM cards into the March based category A prison.

She also engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a prisoner who she became ‘infatuated with’, exchanging letters and sending and receiving hundreds of texts and calls when she wasn’t on duty.

Prisoners reported the suspicious activity to wing staff and after an investigation was launched, Youngman was arrested on February 25.

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Detective Constable Emily Clarke said: “Cambridgeshire Constabulary work closely with the prison and the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) to deal with staff corruption.

“Prison staff are in a position of authority and have a responsibility to keep prisoners safely locked inside prisons so they cannot harm the public whilst serving their sentences.

“They are provided with training around corruption and in this case Youngman has ignored this training and after less than eight months in the role she began trafficking items into the prison. This corrupt behaviour puts prison officers and other prisoners at risk and will not be tolerated