In a shocking revelation, 25-year-old Shania Begum, a female prison officer at HMP Birmingham, has been sentenced to 16 months in jail for engaging in a sexual relationship with an inmate.
The inappropriate liaison between Begum and Joshua Mullings was exposed when prison authorities, suspecting foul play, installed surveillance cameras in a store cupboard where the two were caught in compromising situations.
Begum, hailing from Telford, Shropshire, had admitted to misconduct in a public office. According to the court, the duo’s encounters involved ‘play fighting, flirting, heavy petting, and penetrative sex.’
The judge, John Butterfield, remarked, ‘As time went by, you fell under suspicion, and secret surveillance cameras were set up in the store cupboard.’
The illicit relationship was discovered during an anti-corruption probe prompted by intelligence suggesting an intimate connection between Begum and Mullings.
Cameras placed in the store cupboard between September 22 and 29, 2022, captured the duo engaging in sexual activities, including instances of oral sex.
Judge Butterfield emphasized the corrosive effect Begum’s actions had on the prison system, noting that the misconduct occurred while she was on duty.
He mentioned, ‘You and he repeatedly spent time together in that store cupboard to be physically intimate, up to and including penetrative physical acts.’
The judge further highlighted the impact on the stability and welfare of the prison estate.
During the court proceedings, it was revealed that the store cupboard, where the incidents took place, was under the responsibility of the prisoners, including Mullings.
This revelation added a layer of complexity to the case, as it was the prisoners’ duty to keep the area tidy.
Prosecutor Daniel Oscroft stated, ‘Her conduct undermines confidence in the prison system, causes problems with prison order, and has an impact on the stability and welfare of the prison estate.’
He also disclosed that Begum’s internet browsing history revealed a personal interest in Mullings and media reports about him.
In her defense, Andrew Baker argued that Begum was of previous good character and expressed deep remorse.
The scandal has left an indelible mark on HMP Birmingham, raising concerns about the integrity of the prison system and the need for continued vigilance to prevent such incidents in the future.