Prison officer sacked over criminal Facebook ‘friends’

A prison officer has been sacked after befriending known criminals on Facebook.

Prison officer Nathan Singh was initially investigated over suspicions that he was smuggling mobile phones and other banned items into HMP Leicester.

While the investigation failed to uncover evidence of smuggling, it did discover that he claimed to be friends with 13 known criminals on the social networking site Facebook.

Singh’s Facebook friends, seven of whom have served custodial sentences, included Mark Simmonds, a convicted murderer, Myron Wallace, who has served time for drugs offences, and Tyrone Leadeatt, a convicted fraudster.

Singh claimed to have known the criminals from school or playing football. He said: “Sometimes when I logged on to my Facebook site, there would be 20-odd ‘friends requests’, and I just accepted them. I realise now that I might have been naïve.”

The investigation, code-named Operation Earlgrey, found that Singh had been in phone contact with seven of the 13 criminal friends on Facebook. Singh has been dismissed from the Prison Service for gross misconduct.

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