A PRISON officer has appeared in court charged with having sex with prisoners in his charge at HMP Low Newton and sexually assaulting a woman.

David Adam Whitfield, 33, faces two allegations – one relating to his service at the women’s prison and Young Offenders Institution in Durham, between January 2011 and April 2016.

He attended a short hearing at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court on November 8, where he spoke only to confirm his name, age and address.

The 33-year-old, of Colman Avenue, in South Shields, South Tyneside, is charged with misconduct in a public office and sexual assault.

The misconduct is alleged to have taken place between January 1, 2011, and April 4, 2016, by “inciting sexual activity and engaging in sexual activity with prisoners” in his charge at HMP Low Newton.

The second charge of sexual assault is alleged to have happened between April 1, 2014, and March 16, 2015, in Durham.

District Judge Tim Capstick addressed Mr Whitfield and told him he would be granted unconditional bail ahead of his next court appearance at Durham Crown Court, on December 7.