A crooked prison officer who had sex with a heroin dealer inmate and sent him raunchy selfie photos after finding out her husband was having an affair has been jailed.
Julie Turton, 54, also supplied drugs to another lag at HMP Birmingham by smuggling cannabis into the jail hidden inside chocolate Kinder Surprise eggs.
The senior wing manager struck up an intense sexual relationship with inmate Danny King, 35, who called her “My beautiful sexy Julie” in letters addressed to her.
The lovers engaged in sexual contact and kissing on at least two occasions at the Category B prison between June 2012 and July 2013.
Birmingham Crown Court heard the pair also sent 70 texts and spoke 95 times during this time and Turton stored King’s number in her phone contacts under “DannyXXX”.
She was rumbled by prison bosses and police after it became clear an organised crime group had somebody “working on the inside” bringing in items for prisoners.
A six-month extensive undercover surveillance operation was then launched and Turton was caught when police stopped an Audi in Birmingham on May 17 last year.
Officers found 22.5g of cannabis concealed in two Kinder Eggs which had the street value of £200 – before discovering Turton’s fingerprints on the drug.
When police arrested Turton they found a letter from King declaring his undying love for the mum-of-four.
In the hand-written note he spoke of their future plans, how fate had brought them together and how he looked forward to the “wonderful” sex they would have once he was free.
Subsequent police inquiries also found Turton had also acquired stereo equipment from Argos for another prisoner and conducted illicit phone communications with other inmates.
She was sacked by prison bosses after 20 years working at HMP Birmingham and was charged with five counts of misconduct in a public office and one of supplying cannabis.
On Monday Turton from Hamstead, Birmingham, was jailed for two years and eight months after she pleaded guilty at a previous hearing.
Sentencing Recorder Thomas Rochford told Turton her actions had “defied belief” and compromised the security of the 160 inmates in her care.
He added: “What you did when you were in that role was form a sexual relationship with Danny King while he was a prisoner.
“You know Julie Turton that prisons can be dangerous places.
“You also know that some of the prisoners are dangerous, manipulative and cunning while others are weak.
“It is partly because of that they are difficult places to run and that is why mobile phones are forbidden as they can be used to intimidate and threaten those outside prison.
“You knew it was your job to report them not to use them.
“For someone in your position it defies belief. People like you are trusted and the prison service rely on people like you.”
The court heard the couple had spent almost 400 minutes chatting over the phone while King was serving his sentence.
King exchanged texts with Turton telling her she was the “love of his life” who responded by saying he was worth losing her career for.
She even sent him an intimate picture of herself from her iPhone after he was transferred to another jail.
Prosecutor Robert Price said: “Police searched Turton’s home on May 31 last year and found a hand written letter with a photograph of Danny King.
“The letter was addressed to “My beautiful sexy Julie”.
“It expressed his undying love and said “to see you every day you are on is like Christmas every day for me. You are all I ever want.
“He also spoke of how wonderful the sex would be. The letter is undated.
“When Miss Turton’s phone was seized and her iPhone and iPad were analysed it showed Danny King’s number stored under DannyXXX.
“On May 27 2012 he text her saying ‘You are the love of my life and yesterday completed it. I am so happy and hope you are too.’
“She sent him a message saying: ‘It was nerve wracking for us both yesterday. I’m putting my livelihood on the line but you are worth it.’
“The messages continue on like that and on May 28 Julie sent Danny King an intimate photograph of herself.
“On August 5 2012 Julie sends her friend a text and is speaking in terms of getting over Danny and it is clear the intimate relationship had come to an end.”
Defending Turton, Jonathan Barker said the prison officer’s actions were sparked by her husband having an affair.
He added: “Her life will never be the same again. It has been hugely embarrassing for her to have to tell her family and friends about her behaviour.
“This all starts when she discovered her husband had had an affair.
“For the first time in her life she felt isolated, emotionally vulnerable and susceptible to advances from inmates.”
After the hearing DCI Martin Brennan, who led the investigation for West Midlands Police, said: “Police investigation doesn’t stop when someone goes to prison.
“We continue to keep a watchful eye on what’s happening and work really closely with the prison service.
“In this case, the prison too had concerns about Julie’s behaviour.
“Working together we were quickly able to establish exactly what she was up to and bring her before the courts.”
Pete Small, director of the privately run prison, said: “”As an established prison officer with more than 20 years of experience, Julie Turton not only let herself down, but abused the trust of her colleagues and the prison service.
“The overwhelming majority of our staff act with integrity and professionalism to provide a safe environment for prisoners, staff and prison visitors.
“There is no place for misconduct or corruption at the prison and if we have any suspicions over any staff, we will always investigate and if necessary, work with the police to bring a prosecution as we did in this case.”
Arteef Hussain, 25, who is serving a six-year term for possession of a handgun,was sentenced to 12 months in jail encouraging Turton to supply cannabis while he was being held at HMP Birmingham.