An ex-senior prison officer who confessed to having a 12-month long affair with a police killer inmate has evaded a jail sentence.
Corrective Services New South Wales officer Amy Connors had a bond with cop killer Sione Penisini throughout her time at Mid North Coast Correctional Centre in Kempsey. The 35-year-old dodged jail and was given a community corrections order on Friday.
Connors was earlier suspended from her job when Corrective Services intelligence officers revealed the affair via phone conversations among them. Her lover, Penisini, will be suitable for parole in 8 years after decades spent behind bars for the 2002 slaying of highway patrol officer, Senior Constable Glenn McEnallay.
Penisini was imprisoned for 36 years and was completing his sentence at Mid North Coast Correctional Centre in Kempsey where Conners was a guard.
He was booted to Goulburn Supermax prison, a place to Australia’s most hardened criminals, after prison officials learned of the affair.
Connors had altered her appearance, with significant weight loss, which contributed to the scrutiny. She had undergone a dramatic image overhaul, having had a gastric band operation that saw her drop from a size 18 to a size 12.
‘She thought she was the queen of the jail once the weight fell off,’ a source alleged.
It comes after a new task force discovered more than 300 reports have been made in the past decade claiming inappropriate relationships amid prison guards and prisoners.
The inquiry into New South Wales jails exposed women were being attracted to the arms of inmates who ‘exploited’ how badly male guards treated their female colleagues.
Taskforce Themis discovered middle-aged guards in their 40s and 50s were most susceptible to having inappropriate relationships.
More than 320 cases were delivered to the task force – from which 14 were discovered to have involved a physical relationship.