Allegations of monkey chants and inmate forced to pray to Scooby Doo

PRISON PROBES: Holme House Prison, the location of a number of alleged incidents leading to disciplinary investigations

PRISON PROBES: Holme House Prison, the location of a number of alleged incidents leading to disciplinary investigations

First published in News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author Exclusive by

TWO more officers have been suspended from a prison which is now at the centre of a number of separate disciplinary probes, The Northern Echo can reveal.

The investigations concern claims of racism and that an inmate was deliberately humiliated by staff by being made to kneel and pray to a cartoon figure.

A union boss admitted our revelations were “worrying” but said: “Unfortunately, we work in an environment where allegations can be very easily made.”

The news comes as it has emerged a female warder arrested over claims that she had an improper relationship with an inmate will not face police charges.

The 45-year-old woman was suspended from her duties at Holme House Prison, in Stockton, while detectives carried out the investigation last year.

She was quizzed on suspicion of misconduct in a public office and was released on bail. Cleveland Police said last night that the matter was closed.

The Prison Service, however, confirmed that the internal inquiry is continuing – and that two other warders are also facing disciplinary investigations.

The Northern Echo understands that an officer is alleged to have made racist “monkey” noises towards another man at the Category B jail.

In another alleged incident, it is believed a makeshift altar was built with a Scooby Doo character at the top, and a prisoner was made to pray to the cartoon dog.

Terry Fullerton, from the Prison Officers' Association, said: “I'm not aware of these matters, but I'm gob-smacked if what you are saying is right.

“The news obviously worries me, but I would say that this will just be the beginning of the disciplinary process and it will take its course over time.

“Every officer who dons the uniform has a responsibility to act professionally. The Prison Service cannot afford to have anyone who does not.”

A Prison Service spokesperson said: “These members of staff remain suspended while the incidents at HMP Holme House are investigated.”

Cleveland Police said: “We can confirm that a 45-year-old woman arrested on suspicion of misconduct in a public office has been released without further action.”

The prison – which houses 1,200 inmates – is at the centre of another case which will be dealt with at Teesside Crown Court this week.

An officer from another jail is facing custody when she is sentenced for having an improper relationship with a inmate she met at her prison.

The drug dealer remained in touch with the 32-year-old after being freed, re-arrested and jailed for a huge cocaine, heroin and cannabis conspiracy.

Their relationship came to light when the man was being held at Holme House and a mobile telephone smuggled into the jail was found.

The guard admitted misconduct in a public office and money laundering offences at an earlier court hearing and will be sentenced on Friday.

The charges relate to a period between January 2008 and September last year when a “covert” mobile phone was found by prison authorities.

Prosecutor Simon Myers said the phone was used by a number of inmates and the warder's contact with it was “one of the most serious aspects” of the case.

 

Comments (3)

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5:05pm Tue 8 Jan 13

vercingetorix says...

For decades, if not centuries h
jailers have been as bad as their charges but.....praying to Scooby??....not exactly 'hard time ' is it ??
For decades, if not centuries h jailers have been as bad as their charges but.....praying to Scooby??....not exactly 'hard time ' is it ?? vercingetorix
  • Score: 4

6:33pm Tue 8 Jan 13

st-george1 says...

SO every officer who dons the uniform has a responsibility to act professionally ... I can understand too that The Prison Service must not have anyone that does not !
How can their UNION excuse and defend misconduct in a public office and money laundering in an environment where such allegations can easily be made !
Unlike our brave Soldiers.
SO every officer who dons the uniform has a responsibility to act professionally ... I can understand too that The Prison Service must not have anyone that does not ! How can their UNION excuse and defend misconduct in a public office and money laundering in an environment where such allegations can easily be made ! Unlike our brave Soldiers. st-george1
  • Score: 1

11:21pm Tue 8 Jan 13

UpTheBoro says...

The Northern Echo have gone to town on these ALLEDGED Racist allegations judging on the report above. It amazes me why they didnt create a similar report on a local businessman whos company (Sherwoods) were found GUILTY of Racist Behaviour towards a former employee back in October. Something maybe to do with the fact he invests in the Northern Echo. DOUBLE STANDARDS!!
The Northern Echo have gone to town on these ALLEDGED Racist allegations judging on the report above. It amazes me why they didnt create a similar report on a local businessman whos company (Sherwoods) were found GUILTY of Racist Behaviour towards a former employee back in October. Something maybe to do with the fact he invests in the Northern Echo. DOUBLE STANDARDS!! UpTheBoro
  • Score: 1

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