A JUDGE has said once again the "bright new future intended for prisoner rehabilitation" at HMP Berwyn in Wrexham lay in ruins because of inmate conduct.

Judge Niclas Parry said all the facilities and opportunities offered to prisoners had once again been abused.

He was speaking when John James McGee – who had sex with a prison officer in his cell – was given a 12 month prison sentence, to be served consecutively to his existing jail term, for possessing an illicit phone and charger.

McGee, 30, already serving an eight year prison sentence for causing death by dangerous driving, admitted two charges of having specified banned items in HMP Berwyn, an iPhone hidden inside a play station and a charger.

Prosecutor David Mainstone told Mold Crown Court a police and prison service investigation was set up into the prospect that he was having a sexual relationship with prison officer Emily Watson.

His cell was searched on January 20 last year when a screwdriver was found which was used to open a panel in the play station and the phone was found inside.

It was on that phone and SIM card which he had used to contact Miss Watson and on which she sent him a nude photographs of herself and a sexually explicit film.

McGee gave a 'no comment' interview and did not provide the phone password which meant the police had to spend several thousand pounds of taxpayers’ money on an expert to access it.

McGee, he said, had previous convictions for 27 offences including conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine for which he received 42 months in jail.

Defence barrister Jason Smith said work to prepare McGee for the outside world would have to be put on the back burner because he appreciated he would receive an additional sentence.

The reason McGee had not given the phone password was that he was attempting to protect Miss Watson.

"The last thing he wanted was for her to be prosecuted," he said.

He had a real sense of shame and remorse that she had ended up in the position she had.

Mr Smith said: "He has been informed about what happened to her [jailed for a year for misconduct in public office] and he is bitterly saddened."

They were in a relationship – an improper relationship – but he did not accept that he had corrupted her.

He said the phone in his possession had not be used to bring drugs or other contraband into the prison or to blackmail anyone.

Often, he said, when phones were seized it was dealt with under internal discipline with some 42 days added to the sentence.

McGee had spent five-and-a-half years of the last seven in prison and he knew he had to change, said Mr Smith.

Judge Parry said: "Once again the proposed bright new future for prison rehabilitation at Berwyn Prison lies in ruins because of prisoner conduct.

"Despite all the facilities there and the opportunities offered to prisoners, once again that has been abused."

The effective running of the prison had been compromised, said the judge.

He said the proliferation of mobile phones in prisons could only be halted by deterrent sentences and it would have been wholly inappropriate for his case to have been dealt with by internal discipline.

He added McGee had a bad record and was serving a long sentence for serious offences.