‘Naive and trusting’ nurse handed convict phone

Court crest
Court crest

A ‘naive and trusting’ former nurse at North Sea Camp, has been given a suspended prison sentence after letting a prisoner use her phone.

Sally Houghton, 23, of Spilsby Road, Boston, appeared at the town’s magistrates’ court, where she pleaded guilty to giving a prisoner the phone.

Prosecutor Daniel Pietryka, told the court Houghton was working at the prison in Freiston Shore on November 2, 2014, and had taken her phone in with her.

He said she was engaged in conversation with Daniel Williams and voluntarily offered him her mobile phone.

He said Williams took the phone away for ‘a period of 2-3’ hours before returning it to her – saying he had made three calls and deleted the numbers.

That night she received a text and a phone call from the former partner of another prisoner at the camp – who threatened to report Houghton to her superiors.

He said: “Houghton panicked, realising she was going to be reported she arranged to meet Gail Baker (her manager) from the prison. At this stage she denied knowledge of how her phone had been involved, but after that admitted she’d allowed Williams to use it.”

Defending, Rachel Taylor said Houghton had been a newly-qualified nurse a few months before working at Pilgrim Hospital before joining the prison.

She said Houghton was ‘naive and trusting’ and had spoken to Williams who had ‘said he was feeling low and saying he felt isolated’.

She said: “She accepts she gave him her phone for what she thought would be a very short period of time to make a call to family members.”

Mrs Taylor said that although the aggravating factor had to do with security, she said that due to the nature of the open prison the rules were ‘more minimal than they would be if she had been working in a secure establishment’.

Houghton was committed to prison for 12 weeks suspended for 12 months and ordered to carry out 100 hours’ unpaid work and pay an £80 victim surcharge and £85 costs.