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Peter Scott, from Gravesend, sent selfie from inside Medway Secure Training Centre youth jail

By Lynn Cox

A former member of staff at a youth jail took work selfies to prove to his paranoid girlfriend he was there, a court heard.

Peter Scott, 29, took five photos inside the Medway Secure Training Centre in Rochester and sent them via text messages to his partner.

The photos were found during an investigation by police after BBC's Panorama programme sent an undercover reporter into the jail.

Medway Secure Training Centre.
Medway Secure Training Centre.

The documentary, broadcast in January, showed staff appearing to use excessive force on some inmates.

Scott, of Goodwood Crescent, Gravesend, admitted taking a photograph inside a prison and sending an image via text message from a prison at an earlier hearing.

Medway magistrates heard that Scott, who lost his job, had to move in with his parents and suffered with depression as a result of the publicity surrounding his case.

They ordered Scott to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and pay £85 costs.

Medway Secure Training Centre
Medway Secure Training Centre

James Nichols, prosecuting, said: “He sent the photographs on his mobile of him inside the prison.

“They were effectively prison selfies from different rooms inside the prison. He is of previous good character.”

Stephen Ferson, defending, said his client was very remorseful.

“He was in a relationship and his girlfriend was paranoid, she wanted proof he was at work at the secure unit,” he said.

“He took a risk but it was not to undermine the safety of the children.

Medway Secure Training Centre
Medway Secure Training Centre

“He has lost his job as a result and has been diagnosed with depression with the publicity surrounding this.”

Chairman of the bench, Barbara Ide, added: “This was a silly thing to do and in many ways you’ve suffered enough, but this was a serious offence.”

Since the Panorama allegations came to light, the Ministry of Justice has taken over the running of the site from private security firm G4S.

Seven other people have been charged with offences following the inquiry.

Offender manager Rebecca Harold, 24, who denied assaulting a young inmate, had her case thrown out when she appeared before magistrates earlier this month.

Six people are due to appear at Maidstone Crown Court tomorrow. Christopher Lomax, 34, of Timbertops, Chatham; Jonathan Kane, 34, of Stratford Lane, Rainham; Matthew Cunningham, 35, of Megby Close, Gillingham; Gareth Evans, 25, of Tintagel Gardens, Rochester; James Beech, 26, of Chilton Avenue, Sittingbourne; and Anthony Dance, 26, of Hailsham, East Sussex, are accused of misconduct in a public office.

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