Woman jailed after inmate at Staffordshire prison gets her pregnant

13 September 2019, 06:32

HMP Brinsford
HMP Brinsford. Picture: PA Images

A catering instructor, who became pregnant by an inmate at a prison near Wolverhampton, has been jailed for eight months.

24-year-old Kirsty Howat of Sudbury Place in Newcastle-under-Lyme admitted misconduct in a public office.

Howat, who was employed by Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service, began a relationship with 20-year-old Liam Moretto while he was an inmate at HMP Brinsford - something which resulted in her pregnancy.

The prison authorities were suspicious of the relationship and gathered evidence from a covert CCTV camera. Howat accepted a relationship but denied sexual intercourse.

However, she later admitted the inappropriate relationship, saying she had 'panicked', which is why she had previously denied sexual relations.

Howat also admitted that she used the prison systems to obtain highly confidential information about another prisoner with whom Moretto was in conflict and that she passed that information on to Moretto.

Paul Reid from the CPS said: "This is a serious offence. Howat was meant to be helping to rehabilitate and re-integrate prisoners into society but she abused her position and began an intimate relationship with Liam Moretto.

"She also shared confidential information about another prisoner with Moretto.

"The public must be satisfied that those entrusted to carry out the management of custodial sentences do so to the highest standards of probity. By her actions, Howat has done significant harm to public confidence in the prison system".

Sentencing Howat, HHJ Gosling, said: "The governor described your behaviour - having a sexual relationship with a 20-year-old prisoner and conceiving a baby in prison - as shocking. That is an understatement.

"You made a calculated search for information about another prisoner. The gravity of that is on a level with the sexual relationship itself.

"To force you apart from your young baby is a serious punishment in itself … the gravity of these offences vary enormously, but deterrence is important."