Criminal Catterill went on to have affiar with prison worker at Armley Jail

It can now be revealed that Ben Catterill was the inmate who had an affair with a prison worker while he was being held on remand at Armley jail.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 8th December 2016, 11:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 12:48 pm

The YEP reported in August this year how “besotted” Sarah Ellahi, 27, abused her position as a family liaison worker at the Leeds prison in order to have the affair.

Ellahi was given a four-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to misconduct in a public office and conveying a list C article into prison.

Catterill’s identity could not be revealed at the time because he was facing another trial which ended this week.

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Catterill was given a six month sentence - to run consecutive to his six year sentence - after pleading guilty to passing a prohibited item inside a prison and conveying a list C article into prison.

He admitted the offence on the same day he was jailed for the burglary offence in June.

On that day, Catterill appeared in the dock of one courtroom alongside his partner Katie Henderson before being taken to another courtroom to appear alongside Ellahi.

The affair was revealed when his cell was searched after staff became suspicious and they found printed pictures of Ellahi “in various states of undress.”

Letters written by Ellahi were also found which were erotic and sexual in nature.

Some of the letters, in which she referred to Catterill as “Benji” were signed “your wifey”, spoke of her love for the prisoner and discussed plans for when he was released.

A mobile phone found in the cell also revealed texts to and from Ellahi’s phone.

The phone had received 598 text messages from Ellahi and she had received 374 messages over a two month period.

Ellahi and the Catterill also discussed carrying contraband goods in to the prison.

One message from Ellahi stated: “I want you to be able to ask me for stuff. I am your partner.”

Ellahi initially raised suspicion when she began volunteering to cover shifts for colleagues at the jail’s visitor centre.

She even offered to work for free at times when the inmate was there.

In January this year, police seized her handbag and it was found to contain love letters she had written to the inmate.

She admitted writing and sending texts to the prisoner and giving him a wind chime as a present.

Ellahi, of Temple Crescent, Beeston, denied that any physical contact ever took place between them.

Jayne Cooper, for Ellahi, said Ellahi developed the relationship with the prisoner at a time when she was vulnerable and he had been kind to her.

Jailing Ellahi, judge Tom Bayliss, QC, said: “You became infatuated with him - besotted with him.

“You are an upstanding member of society and I accept that any prison sentence will impact hard upon you but the offence of misconduct in a public office is serious.

“Behaviour such as yours has the potential to compromise security within the prison and exposes you to the threat of blackmail.

“Inevitably it damages confidence in the prison system.”