What do you do after falling in love with someone and suddenly can’t see them again because they got time to serve in prison? Run?
While some people will choose to wait with fidelity and an ever-growing affection, others will find reasons to quit.
This pretty nurse falls in the category of those patient lovers who would jump off a cliff for their most treasured possession. She was lucky to receive only a caution from the court after her text message to a prisoner was exposed.
“There’s no romance in going out with criminals,” the judge told Rebecca Shaw in court.
She was arrested, detained and arraigned in court just for sending romantic text messages to an inmate.
Rebecca faced a Manchester Crown Court for the sake of her boyfriend who was convicted after a series of gang-related shootings in Salford.
He was jailed 18 months ago for drug dealing and possession of firearms, but kept close contact with the pretty nurse because they really loved each other.
The prisoner boyfriend asked to know if she would be patient enough to wait until he becomes a “freeman”.
Rebecca’s offence wasn’t really that she sent a text to her boyfriend, but for the fact that she knows he was receiving the message with a contraband phone.
The court charged her for “assisting the commission of an offense.”
Judge Suzanne Goddard QC told Rebecca, who pleaded guilty as charged: “There’s no romance in going out with criminals.”
A team of investigators raided the girl’s home in Atherton early last year and recovered a black-colored iPhone from her bedroom, prosecutor Sarah Johnston told court.
The 21-year-old had a total of 31 text messages sent and received on 31 October, 2015.
According to Manchester Evening News, Rebecca accepted the proposal from her boyfriend and they discussed their relationship through text messages.
She told the court about her frequent visits to HPM Manchester, admitting that she knew it was a crime for an inmate to own or use a mobile phone. However, she denied being aware that it’s a crime to reply text messages from prisoners.
Jason McHugh, an attorney for the defendant, said: “When the police went to the front door of her parents’ address and she subsequently appeared at the police station, for the first time, matters came to head and that’s the time the relationship ended completely.
The lawyer added that Rebecca hasn’t been in contact with her boyfriend since the first arrest, arguing that as a 20-year-old, she was in “lust” – not love as she thought.
“She could be losing her liberty today, she’s brought shame upon her family, she was undertaking a course in mental health nursing but because of this her supervisors at UCLAN took the view it would be better if they parted ways,” the lawyer bemoaned her client’s love-pains.
“Her life, effectively, has been placed on hold.”
The lucky young girl was handed a 120-hour unpaid work and suspended for one year suspension. She could have been jailed for 6 months.
In her sentencing, Judge Goddard said to Rebecca: “You’re a young woman of some intelligence, you left school with numerous GCSEs.
“You got involved with a man with a criminal record, and he ended up in custody.
“It must have been absolutely clear to you that you should not have been speaking to him through anything other than the official channels whilst he was in prison. You chose to ignore that and therefore became involved in this offence.
“It’s clear these texts were only about the relationship and nothing to do with any sort of crime, but that’s not an excuse. Had there been any notion of him attempting to use you – because that’s what criminals do – there could have been no escape from a custodial sentence today.
“I’m sure this offence and your appearance in court today will have been a blow to you and particularly your family. I’m sure this will have been a wake up call to you – there’s no romance in going out with criminals.”
The young man is being held at HMP Manchester, also known by its original name “Strangeways”. The prison is reportedly one of UK’s largest high security prison. It also boasts of category A men’s cells and a capacity for over 1,200 inmates.
HPM Manchester was named “Strangeways” after the infamous Strangeways riot of April 1990 – the biggest disturbance in prison service history.