South Shields prison officer jailed

A prison guard at a women's jail who incited inmates to perform sex acts for him in their cells was jailed for six years and nine months.

Thursday, 19th August 2021, 5:11 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th August 2021, 5:43 pm
David Whitfield.

Seven women prisoners at HMP Low Newton gave evidence against David Whitfield, 35, about his sexual behaviour towards them.

Several women said that the married officer got them to strip and perform sexual acts in their cells while he looked on through a hatch in the door

One woman said that Whitfield gave her treats of toiletries and coffee which she could trade with other prisoners.

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She said: “He is a sexual predator.”

Another prisoner said she had performed a sex act on herself while Whitfield had watched.

She said: "I felt uncomfortable but I carried on doing it. He just watched, shut the hatch and I put my pyjama bottoms back on

"It happened loads of times. He gave us gifts of toiletries, little luxuries that you would not get, handcream, coffee, toiletries

"When you are given a big jar of Nescafe in prison you can trade with it.”

Whitfield was found guilty after a three week trial at Teesside Crown Court of misconduct in a public office at the County Durham prison during a five-year period.

Whitfield, from South Shields, was found not guilty of a charge of sexual assault on a woman prisoner.

After the hearing, a Prison Service spokesperson said: “The vast majority of our staff carry out their duties to the highest standard and we will not hesitate to punish any individual that breaks the rules.”