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Prison officer convicted over two-year sexual relationship with inmate

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A prison officer has been convicted of having a sexual relationship with an inmate at a women’s jail.

Iain Cocks was in the relationship with the prisoner at HMP New Hall near Wakefield in West Yorkshire for two years, where his wife was also working at the time.

Prosecutors said the 51-year-old had consensual sex with the inmate, who cannot be named for legal reasons – and she told the court that she knew what she was doing.

The court heard that the pair had intercourse in her cell, as well as in a laundry room.

In another case, Cocks engaged in flirtatious behaviour with a different inmate before sexually assaulting her in her cell.

The court heard that the assault only ended when she asked him: “Don’t you think I am vulnerable?”

He also had a relationship with a third woman, who had just been released from prison on licence, taking her to the home he shared with his wife and having sex with her.

Cocks, from Barnsley, has been told he should expect an immediate custodial sentence.

He was convicted of two counts of misconduct in a public office and another of sexual assault – offences that were committed between June 2015 and May 2017.

As the verdict was read at Leeds Crown Court, Cocks looked to the ground and shook his head.

“A sentence of immediate imprisonment is inevitable, I know that you will understand that,” Judge Simon Phillips said.

“Unhappily, the expectations of the prison service have not been carried out in any fit and proper way by this one particular individual.”

New Hall Prison has a capacity of around 425 people and houses women and young offenders.

Cocks is due to be sentenced on 13 December – after victim impact statements have been prepared.

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