London, Apr 1 (ANI): A prison monitor, who sent explicit photographs of herself and engaged in "phone sex" with inmates, has been given a suspended jail sentence.
Alice Belton, of Wilton Road, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, pleaded guilty at a previous hearing at Newport Crown Court on the Isle of Wight to a charge of misconduct in office.
The 23-year-old was found to have engaged in "inappropriate" and "intimate" relationships with three inmates serving at HMP Parkhurst on the Isle of Wight where she volunteered between October 2008 and April 2009.
As part of her unpaid role with the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB), she had to visit prisoners to check on their well-being, reports the Telegraph.
However, she was arrested after she was found bringing a mobile phone into the prison.
Belton told police she had first made contact with one of the prisoners, named as Stuart, through a dating site called Flirtfast, but at that time she did not know he was a serving prisoner at Parkhurst.
However, she admitted carrying on the relationship after she had found out.
The court heard Stuart attempted to persuade her to bring drugs into the prison but she refused to oblige.
The prisoner also transferred 600 pounds to her bank account as a birthday present.
It was revealed that Belton later became involved with John Paul, a friend of Stuart and also a Parkhurst inmate, and exchanged explicit text messages with him.
The court heard that Belton, who was in a relationship, also engaged in an exchange of letters with a third prisoner, called Justin, but these letters did not contain sexual material.
Defence attorney Richard Germain said that Belton was "emotionally fragile" and "naive", which had been caused by her upbringing.
Germain said there were suspicions that Belton was being groomed by the prisoners as a potential drugs courier and they had informed the prison authorities of her behaviour when she refused.
Judge John Dixon sentenced Belton to a four-month prison sentence suspended for two years and said that she had been given inappropriate support and training for her role.
He criticised the Government for failing to set up a better vetting procedure for prison monitor volunteers. (ANI)