London A judge blasted a prison's lax regime on Tuesday as he jailed a female prison officer for having an affair with a killer.

The relationship between Rachel Klein, 29, and inmate Steven Chapman, 27, highlighted the lack of discipline at HMP Lindholme, where prisoners had easy access to tobacco, computer games and telephones, the court was told.

The couple regularly kissed and held hands, as well as exchanging intimate love letters.

In one letter, Klein wrote that if she had been allowed to wear a skirt in the jail, she would have had sex with him.

Recorder Carl Gumsley said: "I urge the authorities to investigate what was going on in this establishment as soon as possible and to ensure that if any of the allegations are true, they are dealt with accordingly."


One prisoner even preferred the prison to a bail hostel because it was more comfortable and he could use a PlayStation, Doncaster Crown Court was told.

Klein admitted misconduct in public office and was jailed for 18 months.

Recorder Gumsley accepted she had "very real feelings for Chapman", adding: "True feelings for someone is not a crime but you were a prison officer.

Duty to protect

"It was your duty to protect and you undermined the prison regime. This was a gross breach of trust of prisoners, your fellow officers, the prison system and the public."

The illicit romance began in January last year and the besotted warder continued writing to Chapman — sometimes twice a day — even after getting engaged to another prison officer.

Prison authorities became suspicious of the amount of time the pair spent together and put CCTV cameras in Klein's office.

She was arrested in May 2010.