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Prison officer caught having sex with inmate in store cupboard- HMP Birmingham

An incident occurred at HMP Birmingham where a prison officer, Shania Begum, was discovered engaging in a sexual relationship with an inmate, Joshua Mullings, inside a store cupboard. Due to suspicions raised about Begum's behavior, a covert camera was installed in the cupboard, which captured footage of their interactions escalating from flirting and "heavy petting" to full sexual intercourse. Despite her work radio going off and a colleague interrupting on one occasion, Begum ignored these distractions.

During the trial at Birmingham Crown Court, Begum confessed to misconduct in a public office. Emotions ran high as she sobbed in the dock, ultimately receiving a 16-month jail sentence from Judge John Butterfield KC. The judge described Begum's actions as a complete betrayal of the trust placed in her and emphasized the detrimental effects it had on the stability and well-being of the prison. He deemed it a severe threat to overall order within the correctional facility.

Begum had been employed at HMP Birmingham since 2018. According to Prosecutor Daniel Oscroft, intelligence collected from July 2022 revealed an inappropriate relationship between Begum and Mullings, indicating intimate encounters taking place within the store cupboard on prison premises.

A anti-corruption probe was carried out after prison intelligence led bosses to believe Begum was having a relationship with the prisoner.

Following the issuance of authorized surveillance, including the installation of a covert camera in the cupboard that should have been kept tidy by prisoners, evidence showed that Begum and Mullings engaged in consensual sexual activity between September 22 and 29, 2022, while she was on duty.

Oscroft further explained that their initial interactions involved playful behavior and flirting while alone together. However, their acts escalated from heavy petting to penetrative sexual activity, including oral sex on multiple occasions.

The defendant in question was observed being interrupted by the work radio and fellow prison staff, which she chose to ignore. Additionally, one member of staff approached her, stating that he had been searching for her for an hour.

During the trial, it was revealed that Begum had previously conducted internet searches and read media reports about Mullings and his family. In her defense, Andrew Baker expressed that she struggles to explain her behavior and is deeply remorseful. He suggested that her troubled upbringing may have influenced her actions, describing her childhood as wretched.

Begum had taken on the responsibility of caring for her mother, older sister, and two younger sisters due to their health conditions. According to Mr. Baker, "At the time of this offense, she was under pressure to enter into an arranged marriage."

The man she was set to marry exhibited controlling behavior, manipulating her movements, controlling her time, and dictating her interactions beyond normal circumstances. Begum believes that these circumstances played a significant role in her behaving in a manner that was entirely out of character. Despite the exploitative nature of the relationship, she felt cherished, which she believes influenced her actions.

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