Prison officer sent racy snaps to inmate and smuggled in weed in Red Bull can

A prison officer who started an inappropriate relationship with an inmate, sent racy snaps to him and smuggled cannabis into jail for him in a Red Bull can has been locked up herself.

Joanne Hunter was working at Forest Bank prison in Salford, Manchester, when she linked up with Connor Willis, who she 'thought was in love with her'.

Hunter, 28, from Bury, had begun a relationship with Willis, kissing him and sending him explicit pictures of herself, but denied that it ever became sexual.

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She also admitted sharing ‘flirty banter’ with another inmate. Prison authorities became aware of Hunter’s crimes and she confessed after being confronted, Manchester Evening News reported.

A judge ordered her to be locked up for three years, hitting out at her "selfish and misguided" behaviour.

She wept and blew a kiss to her family before she was sent down to start her sentence. Manchester Crown Court heard that Hunter began working at the jail in December 2018.

Two years later, prison bosses "received information" that she had been smuggling illicit items into the jail, and she was hauled in for a disciplinary interview.

Hunter admitted that she’d smuggled items into the prison on behalf of an inmate named Connor Willis. She told prison bosses: “Someone from the out gave it to me to bring in for Cox and Connor Willis.”

She handed over the packages to ‘big player’ inmate, Cox, before they were passed on to Willis.

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Hunter said that "some random girl" had met her twice at Tesco in Bury and handed over packages which she then brought into jail, one being a Red Bull can, and the other a juice carton.

Hunter said she didn’t know what was inside the packages but guessed it was "tobacco, burn and weed or a phone." She admitted that she’d kissed Willis, 26, but denied their relationship became sexual.

He had come onto the wing where she worked, and at first she didn’t like him because he was "arrogant", but "as time went on he grew on her", prosecutor Rachel Widdicombe said. Hunter said they’d kissed "several times" and that she’d sent him "explicit photos."

Willis had given her his number and she would call him and send him messages. The court was told that he allegedly "arranged" Hunter’s meeting with the woman at Tesco to handover the package.

Hunter, from Bury, pleaded guilty to misconduct in a public office and conspiring to convey list A articles into a prison.

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