A PRISON officer who admitted having a sexual relationship with a prisoner has been jailed.

Lauren McIntyre, a mother of baby twins and a five-year-old, has been jailed for three years. She will serve half behind bars and half on licence.

She previously admitted four counts of misconduct in a public office, at the Isle of Wight Crown Court, and appeared there today for sentencing.

Judge Roger Hetherington said today: "There is no doubt due to the gravity of the offending only a significant and immediate custodial sentence can be justified.

"The effect of your conduct undermines the safety and integrity of the prison service. It reduces the service in the estimation of the public.

"You had no regard for that - only for your own selfish interests, though I accept you are now genuinely remorseful"

McIntyre admitted, as holder of a public office, namely a prison officer, wilfully neglecting to perform her duty and wilfully misconducting herself between November 14, 2018, and December 20, 2018, at HMP Isle of Wight's Albany Prison, in a way which amounted to an abuse of the public's trust.

A previous indictment stating the offences took place from August 1 was amended, and the count of withholding information regarding potentially corrupt colleagues was withdrawn.

McIntyre, 32, of St John's Wood Road, Ryde, admitted having a sexual relationship with a serving prisoner, failing to report to the prison authorities her knowledge that he was in possession of a mobile phone, providing him with her personal mobile phone number, communicating with him via mobile phone, supplying him with a copy of her photograph, and attempting to facilitate the transfer of money from him into her bank account.

She also admitted providing the prisoner with the personal phone number of prison officer Samuel Laidler, allowing the prisoner to assault Officer Laidler, failing to warn Officer Laidler or the prison authorities of the impending beating.

Previously, Briony Molyneux, defending McIntyre, said while she admitted a sexual relationship, it did not amount to sexual intercourse, but involved small incidents of touching.

She said McIntyre also claimed the relationship began as an exercise for her to uncover intelligence and led to something more — although the prosecution disputed this.

She said McIntyre was a woman of previous good character.

The prisoner, Andrew Roberts, was convicted in 2003 of strangling his girlfriend Louise L'Homme and their eight-month-old daughter Tia to death at their home in Rhondda, South Wales.

He fled the scene and was arrested five days later.

He was 22 years old when he was sentenced to two life terms at Swansea Crown Court.

For further details of the court case, click here