A prison officer from Stevenage has been jailed for more than two years after having a baby and a year-long relationship with a convicted robber.

Corinne Redhead fell in love with Robert O’Connor while he was serving a 10-year sentence at HMP The Mount, near Hemel Hempstead.

The pair were caught after a tip-off and search of O’Connor’s cell found a Samsung Galaxy mobile hidden in the U-bend of his toilet, with messages revealing the relationship between them.

Redhead, of Burydale, Stevenage, appeared at Luton Crown Court last Tuesday, pleaded guilty to misconduct in a public office and was sentenced to 25 months behind bars.

The 29-year-old had worked at the Category C prison since 2015, with the relationship lasting from January 2018 to January 2019.

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She was arrested on January 15 2019, with two mobiles linked to O’Connor’s phone recovered. In just a three-day period, there had been more than 100 messages between the couple.

Redhead had also stopped using SIM cards and was communicating with her lover via an encrypted platform, and shortly before her arrest, she had planned to buy a small Zanco phone for O'Connor.

Prosecutor Charles Crinion told the court that on April 6, 2019, after she had been arrested and O’Connor released from prison, the pair were spotted by a former prison colleague holding hands at the Broadwater Retail Park in Stevenage.

Redhead later gave birth to a child and O’Connor was named as the father.

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Defending, Drea Becker said: “She is of previous good character and has made a very terrible mistake. She makes it clear there is no excuse. She expresses remorse and shame.”

Sentencing, Judge Michael Simon told Redhead: “You were utterly in breach of your professional duty.

“It is a matter of good fortune that the communication devices do not appear to have been used in furtherance of criminal activity.

“The culpability in my judgement is high. This was not a momentary lapse, but was carried out over an extended period of time.

“At the very outset as a conscientious prison officer you could and should have stepped back, reported Mr O’Connor and stepped back from the relationship.”

Herts police were contacted for comment, but The Comet is yet to receive a response.