Female prison officer accused of harbouring escaped inmate in Lincolnshire
A female prison officer was accused of sheltering an escaped inmate in Lincolnshire after allegedly starting a relationship with him in prison.
Erica Whittingham appeared at Derby Crown Court to face two charges, Derbyshire Live reports.
Prosecutors claim the 33-year-old developed a relationship with convicted robber Michael Seddon while she was working at HMP Sudbury in Derbyshire, where he was serving a prison sentence.
They claim she helped and helped him escape while he was on the run for almost six months.
Seddon was convicted of robbery at Bournemouth Crown Court in November 2011.
He was one of four men convicted of robbing a 78-year-old man from his Dorset home.
The victim, a farmer, was handcuffed, beaten and threatened during a two-hour ordeal, and Seddon, then 22, from Bootle, Merseyside, was given an indefinite prison term for the protection of the public.
Whittingham, of Leigh Lane, Bramshall, Uttoxeter, denies helping an inmate escape from prison and have a relationship with him.
She is charged with helping Seddon escape HMP Sudbury on October 1, 2019 and hosting him in Lincolnshire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Oxford until March 18, 2020.
She is also charged with willful misconduct in a judicial position for having a relationship with Seddon between January 8, 2017 and October 3, 2019.
The defendant denied both charges when she appeared in person at Derby Crown Court.
Recorder Adrian Reynolds set the trail date for the week of July 25, 2022 and gave Whittingham unconditional bail.