A PRISON nurse from West Yorkshire who had an affair with a convicted rapist at a top security jail has been ordered to be struck off the register.
Karen Cosford had a relationship lasting several months with Brian McBride, who was serving a life sentence at Wakefield Prison, and was jailed in 2012 for three years.
She denied all charges but was found guilty of misconduct by engaging in a sexual relationship with an inmate. She was also found guilty of failing to tell prison authorities that McBride had a mobile and bringing in top-ups on behalf of the prisoner.
Cosford, of Normanton, who worked in the jail’s medical centre, claimed McBride raped her then intimidated her so she would not report it.
But jurors at Leeds Crown Court rejected the claim after hearing how she became inappropriately close to McBride and struck up a sexual relationship.
A fitness to practise panel of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in London heard that Cosford had sent an email last month in which she stated that she felt “it would be a fruitless exercise to continue fighting to clear my name with the NMC. I hope this will allow you to progress without any further disruption.”
Also, in a letter dated August 23 last year she accepted she had been convicted of the charges and was serving a custodial sentence. She was released last November.
Panel chairman Julian Weinberg said it considered she had demonstrated behaviour falling seriously short of the conduct and standards expected of a registered nurse, and that her conduct was a gross breach of trust.
“There is an expectation for nurses to obey the law and any disregard for the law, particularly in the setting of a maximum security prison, poses a risk to public safety.
“Bearing in mind the need to uphold proper standards and to maintain public confidence in the profession and the NMC as regulator, the panel was satisfied that Mrs Cosford’s fitness to practise is currently impaired by reason of her convictions.”
The panel concluded that Cosford’s conduct and convictions were fundamentally incompatible with her continuing to be a registered nurse.
“The only proportionate and appropriate sanction, sufficient to protect the public and maintain confidence in the profession, is a striking-off order,” he said.