Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Warder suspended after alleged jail romp

A killer jailed for the brutal slaying of a young mum is suspected of romping with a prison officer at Ulster’s women’s prison.

Prison chiefs have launched a probe after suspicions emerged of a steamy jailhouse sex session at the Hydebank Wood facility.

At the centre of the probe is self-styled ‘Babe in the Wood’ Fiona Jamison, serving a life sentence after encouraging two crack-cocaine-dealing pals to batter a young mum to death when a drugs deal went wrong.

Jailbird Jamison has boasted to one newspaper about the pride she feels in being “trusted” and “respected” by prison chiefs.

Now a jail warder has been suspended while his behaviour with the convicted murderer is investigated.

Said a prison service spokesman: “We can confirm an officer has been suspended from duty. Disciplinary procedures have been initiated.”

The alleged sex scandal will be an embarrassing blow for prison chiefs who closed down the women’s wing of Maghaberry Prison and transferred female prisoners to Hydebank after similar allegations of behind bars romps between staff and women prisoners.

The killer at the centre of the current investigation, mum-of-four Jamison (40), is serving a life sentence after being involved in the horrific murder of drugs mule Wendy Woodhouse.

Although she went on trial at the Old Bailey, Fiona Jamison later transferred to Maghaberry Prison to be closer to her family.

Jamison, who lived in Walthamstow, in east London, had been the lover of crack cocaine dealer Courtney Peters who flew into a rage when one of his mules — Wendy Woodhouse — had been duped in a drugs handover.

Woodhouse had been sent to collect a parcel of cocaine for Peters, but was ripped off when she was handed a packet of parsley in exchange for more than £1,200.

Jamison was in the back of the car as Woodhouse was driven into Epping Forest. Although Jamison remained in the car while Peters and another man Ewing Thomas walked Woodhouse into the forest and than pistol-whipped her to death, it was accepted she knew what was going to happen.

But the jury in the trial of Peters and Thomas were discharged from passing a verdict on Jamison because the mum-of-four tried to take her own life during the trial. She was later convicted separately and ordered to spend a minimum of 10 years behind bars.

Since transferring to Northern Ireland to be closer to relatives, Jamison has taken a prominent role among the women prisoners at Hydebank Wood.

She is in charge of ‘Babes in the Wood’, a handicrafts business set up and run by inmates to make money for charity.

Just last month Jamison told The Irish News: “Running Babes in the Wood has gave me confidence and made me start to think about what I’ll do when I’m eventually released.

“You get a sense of pride that you are being trusted and respected and that is very important, especially to long-serving prisoners like myself who are approaching the end of their sentence.”

The latest scandal comes four years after a report that was triggered by allegations of inappropriate relationships between prisoners and staff at Maghaberry.

Among those suspected to have romped with prison staff at the former

women’s wing at Mourne House were ‘Black Widow’ Julie McGinley, jailed for the murder of her husband Gerry McGinley jnr and maneater Leslie Gault.

Gault, who was acquitted of the murder of her husband Paul at the end of her third trial, had a fling with married warder Stanley McCarten.

McCarten, a prison officer with more than 30 years experience, lost his job over the affair. And he eventually split from adulteress Gault, who last month walked down the aisle with her latest husband Jeremy Burke. And a prison officer who had a number of allegations against him — including the suspicion that he had been involved in inappropriate behaviour with McGinley and other female prisoners — was dismissed.

Prison bosses investigated a total of 55 complaints in its probe into the goings-on at Mourne House, but 43 of the complaints did not have concrete evidence to back them up.

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