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Female warden was begged by ‘manipulative’ inmate to wait for him to be freed to continue affair

A prison officer accused of having an affair with an inmate was begged by the criminal to wait for him to be freed to continue their relationship, a court heard.

Warden Ruth Shmylo, 26, is accused of having a five-month relationship and “secret phone sex” with “manipulative” drug dealer Harri Pullen, 25, while working at a Category B prison.

Pullen and Ms Shmylo’s alleged affair began after he passed her a mobile number written on a slip of paper and phoned each other for “teenage” style conversations.

After she left her role as a custody officer at Parc Prison in Bridgend, Pullen was moved to HMP Manchester where calls between the pair were recorded by prison bosses and later played in Cardiff Crown Court during Ms Shmylo’s misconduct hearing.

In one call Ms Shmylo is heard telling Pullen she wants to leave her home in south Wales and move to Australia, leaving him audibly upset and crying.

Pullen says: “We loved each other and I love you still to this day. I love you even more.”

When Ms Shmylo tells him that she has had enough of her life in Wales, Pullen says: “Your home is here”

He adds: “When I get out I want to take you for food.”

As the call continues with Pullen begging, he tells her: “You should have known what you were doing when you took that number.”

Ms Shmylo referenced threats made by Pullen about her family on the call, and said: “The thought of going away and living a different life appeals to me massively. I still speak to you despite your threats.”

Pullen said: “I beg you, please don’t go.”

He added: “Let me get out and give me a month and if that’s what you still want then I will pack your bags for you and take you to the airport.”

Harri Pullen was a convicted drug dealer and a member of an organised crime groupHarri Pullen was a convicted drug dealer and a member of an organised crime group

Harri Pullen was a convicted drug dealer and a member of an organised crime group – GWENT POLICE

The court heard complaints about Ms Shmylo that referenced “flirtatious” behaviour with inmates and wearing “skin-tight trousers” to work.

Matthew Cobbe, prosecuting, said she should have reported Pullen for having a secret phone behind bars, but instead chose to ring him.

He said Pullen would contact Ms Shmylo “daily” and referred to her as his “Mrs”.

He contacted her on her birthday, saying “happy birthday princess girl” and arranged for his mother to meet up with her.

Mr Cobbe told the court that after being arrested Ms Shmylo admitted she had phone sex with Pullen.

He said: “She conceded during the course of her interview that she had had phone sex with the inmate.

“She explained this was principally the inmate saying things to her, noting that ‘I was listening for the best part of it’.

“That means she was actively engaging in phone sex with the inmate – or some of it.”

‘Obvious risk of manipulation’

The court heard Ms Shmylo was employed at Parc Prison between August 2020 and April 2021 but failed her probation period and was “released”.

Claire Wilks, defending, said Ms Shmylo was a “very pretty 23-year-old” who was at obvious risk of being manipulated by Pullen.

She said: “He was a convicted drug dealer, it was an intelligence-led operation, he’s the member of an organised crime group. All those factors lead him to being a high risk and whilst he was in custody he was known to be a risk.”

Ms Wilks said Pullin had “illicit phones” in prison and “at one stage was thought to be in possession of an improvised gun”.

Ms Shmylo, of Treforest, Pontypridd, denies misconduct in a public office.

The trial continues.

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