Prison Cookery Instructor Jailed After Getting Pregnant By Inmate
13 September 2019, 15:00 | Updated: 13 September 2019, 15:02
A prison cookery instructor has been jailed for eight months after getting pregnant by an inmate with whom she was having secret trysts.
Kirsty Howat admitted misconduct in a public office at Shrewsbury Crown Court on Thursday, after starting a sexual relationship with a prisoner at HMP Brinsford, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.
The 24-year-old started seeing Liam Moretto, who was then 20, and went on to have his baby, in what was described by a judge as "shocking" behaviour.
Howat, of Sudbury Place, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, also used prison systems to obtain confidential information on another inmate Moretto had a conflict with, passing it to him.
Authorities became suspicious of Howat and used covert cameras to gather evidence.
When confronted, Howat, who was employed as a catering instructor by Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service, said the pair were having a relationship but denied having had sex.
She later admitted the relationship had been intimate and also that she had passed the secure information to her prisoner lover.
Judge Jonathan Gosling, sentencing, told Howat: "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."
After sentencing, district crown prosecutor 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."