'Humilated' former Kirkham Prison librarian sentenced for having sex with male inmate

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A prison librarian who had an affair with an inmate has appeared in court for sentencing.

Sharon Mawdsley, 46, had originally been accused of five sexual assaults on two prisoners in the library at Kirkham prison in Lancashire in 2018 as well as one charge of misconduct in public office.

The mother-of-two admitted that she had had a sexual relationship with a third prisoner but denied she had assaulted the other two inmates, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

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A jury at Preston Crown Court found her not guilty after a five day trial in which the prosecution claimed she had touched the private parts of the two prisoners in the library.

Former prison librarian Sharon Mawdsley pleaded not guilty to nine counts at Preston Crown Court. (Pictured at Preston Magistrates Court on Sept 8.)Former prison librarian Sharon Mawdsley pleaded not guilty to nine counts at Preston Crown Court. (Pictured at Preston Magistrates Court on Sept 8.)
Former prison librarian Sharon Mawdsley pleaded not guilty to nine counts at Preston Crown Court. (Pictured at Preston Magistrates Court on Sept 8.)

The mother-of-two said she had intercourse with the prisoner just once on her last shift in the library at Kirkham open prison in Lancashire before she was dismissed in July 2018.

Mawdsley told Preston Crown Court that the two had met when the prisoner had visited the library where she was a part time assistant who sometimes worked alone in the evenings.

She agreed that she had given the prisoner a pair of her knickers "because he asked for them" on the day they had had sex.

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The court has heard that the prisoner later "paraded " the underwear to around 20 inmates on the wing "like a trophy."

Mawdsley told her barrister Stephen Parkinson: "I found him attractive. We just started talking and flirting . It was stupid."

Mawdsley, of St Luke's Road, Blackpool said that she couple had exchanged telephone numbers and had texted and Facetimed each other before having sex in the second office of the library.

Former prison librarian Sharon Mawdsley is on trial at Preston Crown Court as she faces seven charges of sexual assaulting inmates at HMP KirkhamFormer prison librarian Sharon Mawdsley is on trial at Preston Crown Court as she faces seven charges of sexual assaulting inmates at HMP Kirkham
Former prison librarian Sharon Mawdsley is on trial at Preston Crown Court as she faces seven charges of sexual assaulting inmates at HMP Kirkham | SWNS

She told the court that she and her husband, from whom she is now separated, were having marital and financial difficulties at the time.

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Mr Parkinson asked: "Did you know it was illegal to be in possession of a mobile phone in prison?"

Mawdsley replied: "Yes, I did."

Mr Parkinson said: "There came a point when the relationship you struck up became sexual?"

Mawdsley said:" On one occasion, yes."

Mr Parkinson: "Did you have sex with him ?"

She said:" I did, yes, once. It was on a Wednesday. It was my last shift in the library in the second office."

Mawdsley said that on another occasion there had been "kissing and cuddling" with the prisoner in the library when there were other inmates in the area.

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Sharon Mawsdley was the librarian at Kirkham prison when she was accused of sexually assaulting two prisonersSharon Mawsdley was the librarian at Kirkham prison when she was accused of sexually assaulting two prisoners
Sharon Mawsdley was the librarian at Kirkham prison when she was accused of sexually assaulting two prisoners | LEP

Mawdsley also admitted taking part in "sexualised" conversations with inmates when she was working in the library.

She told the jury: "It was just the men who talked like that. I realise now that I should not have done but I was attempting to fit in with the conversations. I thought we were just having a laugh."

But she denied allegations by the two complainants that she had touched their private parts or had made remarks like "show us your penis."

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She told the court: "I didn't touch any of them. The only person I touched was the prisoner (that she'd had sex with) and that was consensual."

Mawdsley said that she had felt "humiliated" when a story about her knickers being displayed appeared in a national newspaper in December 2018.

Today, she appeared at again at the Ringway courthouse for sentencing for one charge of misconduct in public office.

Judge Phillip Parry sentenced her to nine months in prison suspended for 12 months and 200 hours unpaid work.