Appeal Court backs judge who refused to jail Ely prison officer who became infatuated - and smuggled drugs - for murderer inside Whitemoor

Lerone Boye was in Whitemoor prison serving ffie for murder when he began a text relationship with r

Lerone Boye was in Whitemoor prison serving ffie for murder when he began a text relationship with rookie prison officer Hayley Youngman - Credit: Archant

A young female prison officer who fell in love with a lifer at Whitemoor and smuggled drugs, a mobile phone and SIM cards in for him has once again been spared jail.

Whitemoor Prison March

Whitemoor Prison March - Credit: Archant

The Court of Appeal agreed the judge was right to not lock up 21 year old Hayley Youngman who the court agreed was manipulated by a lifer with nothing to lose.

In October she was handed a 12 month jail sentence, suspended for two years, by Cambridge Crown Court.

This week she was back in the dock after the attorney general urged for her to be jailed immediately to stop others making the same mistakes.

However, Lady Justice Rafferty said keeping her out of prison was the right decision.

While also ordering Youngman to do 300 hours of unpaid work, the Judge acknowledged Youngman’s remorse but said she was “lucky not to be going to prison”.

Youngman of West Fen Road, Ely, pleaded guilty to two counts of misconduct in public office, taking prohibited articles into prison and possession of cannabis.

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The court heard how she had been left working alone on a Class A wing overnight where she came into contact with killer Lerone Boye after just six weeks’ training.

The court heard he took advantage of her “vulnerable” position and she became trapped in a “quite hopeless situation”, by a lifer with nothing more to lose.

Her biggest mistake was not going straight to managers when he made his first request for a phone.

It was to be the start of an inappropriate relationship with a prisoner, exchanging letters and sending and receiving hundreds of texts and calls when she wasn’t on duty.

Prisoners reported the suspicious activity to wing staff and after an investigation was launched, Youngman was arrested on February 25.

Detective Constable Emily Clarke said: “Prison staff are in a position of authority and have a responsibility to keep prisoners safely locked inside prisons so they cannot harm the public whilst serving their sentences.

“They are provided with training around corruption and in this case Youngman has ignored this training and after less than eight months in the role she began trafficking items into the prison.

“This corrupt behaviour puts prison officers and other prisoners at risk and will not be tolerated.”

• Before being locked up in Whitemoor Boye went on the run from a mental health unit and said it was the “best three months of his life”.

Boye, serving 28 years for murder, escaped the John Howard Centre medium secure unit in east London after a social therapist took him from a ward without seeking permission from a senior member of staff.

Dean Ablakwa, 29, was acquitted of conspiracy to help Boye escape.

Mr Ablakwa was asked to escort another patient to reception for approved unescorted community leave.

However, he also took Boye from the ward at the same time without alerting more senior staff.

They went into an airlock area by the door and CCTV footage showed that Boye appeared to bend down as the other patient legitimately signed himself out.

Boye then pushed the other patient to one side and made his escape.

Boye was jailed in December 2012 for murder and was transferred to the John Howard Centre for assessment before his escape.

He was part of a group who chased and stabbed 17 year old Kelvin Chibueze, leaving him to die in an Ilford car park, in August 2011.