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London - A prison officer cheated on his wife by having sex with a child killer behind bars while conducting another affair with a former prisoner, a court heard.

Iain Cocks, 51, allegedly had sex with Michelle King, 33, in cells, the staff room and against a washing machine in the laundry room.

Although his wife also worked as a warder at New Hall Prison, near Wakefield, West Yorkshire, that did not stop Cocks from pursuing King and indecently assaulting another inmate in her cell, Leeds Crown Court was told.

Cocks, from Barnsley, denies two offences of misconduct in a public office between June 2015 and May 2017 and one charge of sexual assault.

The prison officer – whose surname was the butt of jokes among prisoners – is said to have targeted King, a drug addict jailed for the manslaughter of her two-year-old daughter who accidentally drank her methadone.

Prosecutor Mark McKone said Cocks met her when she moved into a prison wing where inmates had more freedom. He told King he no longer had sex with his wife, and touched the prisoner inappropriately when she was working in the laundry.

Mr McKone said King accepted that "she enjoyed the attention and began to get feelings for him". The couple had sex for the first time against a washing machine and on about eight other occasions around the prison over a two-year period, the jury heard. King would get "glammed up", doing her hair and make-up to meet him in cells, the court heard. The mother of two, who was released from jail nine months ago, told the court she was a "low-maintenance" prisoner.

"I looked forward to seeing Cocks at work," she said.

King said she learned Cocks was also having an affair with a former inmate called Claire.

"I was upset and hurt by it. I couldn’t believe he was seeing me in prison and seeing her once she’s been released out of the prison," she said, adding that she fell for Cocks’ promises but felt hurt when she was "brushed aside".

King told the jury that the sex between them was consensual. "I knew what I was doing. He never forced me," she said.

Cocks also behaved inappropriately towards a second inmate who cannot be identified for legal reasons, it is alleged. He is said to have indecently assaulted the woman on her cell bed but stopped when she said to him: "Don’t you think I am vulnerable?"

Cocks denied any wrongdoing when interviewed about the allegations, telling police: "I am a happily married man. I love my wife very much."

The trial continues.

Daily Mail