Jury set to consider verdicts in sex trial of West Yorkshire women’s prison officer

Iain Cocks.
Iain Cocks.

Jurors are due to retire to consider verdicts in the trial of a prison officer accused of having a sexual affair with an inmate at a West Yorkshire women’s jail.

Iain Cocks is accused of abusing his position by having a sexual relationship for almost two years with the inmate at HMP New Hall, near Wakefield.

Cocks, 51, is also accused of engaging in flirtatious behaviour with another prisoner before sexually assaulting her in her cell.

Married Cocks – whose wife also works at the prison – is alleged to have committed the offences between June 2015 and May 2017.

Prosecutors claim Cocks had sex with the woman against a washing machine in the prison laundry room, in her cell and in a staff room.

The court heard Cocks went to her cell at 6am on New Year’s Day 2016 and had sex with her.

Cocks, of Barnsley, denies two offences of misconduct in a public office and one of sexual assault.

Cocks has given evidence at the trial to deny any of the alleged offences.

He accepted that he had met a third woman after she was released from the jail on licence.

Cocks told the court he took the woman back to his marital home for sex.

Judge Simon Phillips, QC, is expected to finish summing up the case today before the jury retires to consider verdicts.

During the trial, prosecutor Mark McKone said Cocks met the first complainant in 2015 when she was moved onto the prison’s Rivendell wing, a unit where prisoners are allowed more freedom.

The court heard Cocks and the woman had sex for the first time against a washing machine in June 2015.

It is alleged they had sex on seven or eight further occasions in different cells and also in a staff room.

Cocks is alleged to have engaged in inappropriate behaviour with the second inmate when she was moved onto the same wing.

The jury of eight women and four men heard Cocks also looked up details of the woman’s husband on the prison system and asked if she was going to divorce him.

Cocks is alleged to have indecently assaulted the woman on the bed of her cell but stopped when she said to him: “Don’t you think I am vulnerable?”