‘I had sex with prison officer on comfy chair in staff room’, former West Yorkshire jail inmate tells court

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A former prisoner told a court how she had sex with an officer on a ‘comfy chair’ in the staff room of a West Yorkshire women’s prison.

The woman also described how Iain Cocks would let himself into her cell at HMP New Hall to have sex with her during the secret relationship.

Iain Cocks arrives at Leeds Crown Court. PIC: Simon Hulme

Iain Cocks arrives at Leeds Crown Court. PIC: Simon Hulme

Giving evidence at Leeds Crown Court, the former prisoner said Cocks “was everything” to her as she believed he was risking his job because of the feelings he had for her.

She also described how she became jealous when Cocks began flirting with another inmate who was moved into a neighbouring cell.

READ MORE: ‘Prison officer had sex with inmate on washing machine, in cells and staff room at West Yorkshire women’s jail’

Cocks, 51, is on trial at Leeds Crown Court where he pleads not guilty to two offences of misconduct in a public office and one of sexual assault.

The woman described how she first met Cocks, whose wife also worked at the prison, when she was moved on to the Rivendell wing of the prison in 2015.

Jurors heard part of the unit allows more freedom for ‘low maintenance’ prisoners.

She described how she initially struck up a friendship with Cocks as he told her about his holidays and love for real ale.

Prosecutor Mark McKone said: “Did he tell you anything about his wife?”

She replied: “Just that they weren’t really together. They just lived together because it was convenient.

“He told me they had not had sex for ages.”

Mr McKone asked: “Did you ever talk to Mr Cocks about Facebook?”

The former inmate replied: “He told me he was on Facebook. I wanted to meet up with him when I got out.

“He told me that his Facebook picture was a picture of a Greek island.”

Mr McKone then asked: “How would you describe your relationship with Mr Cocks?”

She said: “At the time he was everything. Not because of what would happen, because of how he would speak to me and the things he would say to me.

“About how he would go out of his way to come to my door and lock me in last.

“He would go out of his way to make me feel special. I was the last one he was putting away.”

The woman described having sex for the first time against a washing machine after they began kissing in the laundry room.

She also gave details of sexual encounters through the hatch in her cell door.

The former inmate said sex took place in three different cells during her time at the prison as well as a prison officers’ office.

She said: “We had sex in the office on the comfy chairs.”

Mr McKone asked: “Did your relationship with Mr Cocks affect your progress through the prison system.”

She replied: “Yes. I would say it did because I did not want to move off Rivendell to a semi-open wing because I did not want to be on a wing that he wasn’t on.”

The court heard how prison authorities became suspicious and began monitoring CCTV footage after they were reported for spending too long in the laundry room.

The woman described how there was “whispering going around” the prison about Cocks and the inmate.

She told the court how she became upset when Cocks began to show interest in another inmate who was moved onto the wing in a neighbouring cell.

She said: “I used to get annoyed about how he used to get involved and talk to her.

“He would go in the room and sort of flirt. It was a bit flirty.

“That used to upset me. I even said ‘why do you even talk to her like that?’. He said he was just doing his job.

“There was a time when we were playing charades and he was acting out a name of a film or book.

“Before he did this he said to (the second inmate) ‘you will get this one’. He acted out a pornographic film.

“It was an old one, because (the second inmate) was a little bit older than the rest of us sat there.”

The woman also described how she believed Cocks’s feelings her were genuine and that he wanted to be in a relationship with her.

She said: “I thought he meant everything that he said.

“That he had feelings for me.

“That he had never done anything like that before.

“Someone is risking a lot for you so it is believable.”