UK corrections officer 'ordered' sex act from inmate

A senior prison officer demanded that a frightened inmate perform a sex act with him, telling her "it's an order'', a court has heard


By Katie Hodge
The Associated Press

LONDON — A senior prison officer demanded that a frightened inmate perform a sex act with him, telling her "it's an order'', a court has heard.

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, conducted a three-year relationship with acting governor Russell Thorne — at one point fearing she had fallen pregnant, jurors were told.

During this time, the officer allegedly became sexually involved with three more inmates at Downview Women's Prison, it was claimed, later apologising to the woman by buying her a ring and getting down on one knee, the court was told.

Giving evidence at Guildford Crown Court, the inmate told how she made Thorne "pay'' for his alleged infidelities in cash or with gifts selected from an Argos catalogue.

Jurors heard how she fell in "love'' with the prison officer but felt she had to comply with his wishes for fear of losing the perks that came with their relationship.

Just three months after meeting, in September 2006, the Columbian said Thorne forced her into a sexual act in his office.
"I wasn't really ready for that because I was scared but he said 'It's an order' so I said 'OK','' she told the court.
On another occasion, she became concerned he would cancel a party organised on her behalf if she did not do as he wished.
"To be honest I thought that if I didn't have sex with him, he would probably call it off or probably wouldn't want to buy anything for the party so I just had sex with him,'' she told the court.
But when they had sexual intercourse, contraception was not used, and she was left "paranoid'' she might end up pregnant, jurors were told.
Thorne provided her with laxatives in a bid to prevent this, she said.
Jurors heard how the pair would meet frequently in his office, the prison library or a store room.
An inmate, who knew of the affair, would sometimes stand guard and on other occasions, Thorne would hang a coat over his office window so no-one could see in.
The officer, who allegedly had an eye for several women held at the jail, in Sutton, Surrey, even had a threesome with the witness and another inmate in a cupboard, it was alleged.
But when she discovered Thorne had a secret liaison with a fellow inmate, the witness threatened to "grass him up'' and decided he should pay for his alleged misdemeanours with £60 in cash and gifts from Argos, including a wedding band-type ring.
He later presented the piece of jewellery, dropping to his knees as if to propose, the court was told.
Thorne, of Sinclair Drive, Sutton, denies two counts of misconduct in a public office.
His co-accused, Simon Dykes, 45, of The Paddock, Westcott, Dorking, Surrey, denies six charges of the same offence.

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