A PRISON officer has appeared in court accused of entering into a relationship with a serving prisoner at a men’s Young Offenders Institution.

Stacey Louise Sutherland, 27, faces a single charge of misconduct in a public office at HMP Deerbolt, in Barnard Castle, which holds young adults age 18 to 21.

The alleged offence relates to a six-week period between April 2018 and May 2018.

The Northern Echo:

Prison Officer Stacey Sutherland (right), 27, arrives at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court, County Durham, charged with misconduct in a public office at Deerbolt Young Offenders Institute, for allegedly having an affair with an inmate. Picture: PA

Miss Sutherland, of Marshall Street, Barnard Castle, County Durham, appeared in Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court on Thursday morning for a short hearing.

District Judge Tim Capstick addressed the 27-year-old and told her she will receive unconditional bail ahead of her next court appearance at Teesside Crown Court on December 6.

Miss Sutherland spoke only to confirm her name, age and address during the two-minute hearing.