PRISON officer Tara Brooks has become the first person to be charged with a new offence following an alleged inappropriate relationship with an inmate after sending him a Valentine’s Day card under a fake name.
Detectives from the Corrective Services Investigation Unit allegedly discovered the blossoming romance between the model and former dance teacher tracing the card she sent to him at Parklea Correction Centre in Sydney to her PO Box address.
Brook is alleged to have embarked on a romance with Hassan Zreika, 41, who is serving time for drugs supply.
It will be alleged Zreika had pinned bikini pictures of her on his cell wall.
Police will also claim they found a series of letters she had penned to him in his cell.
Brooks, 33, who has since been sacked after two years at the jail, is said to have grown close to Zreika when he began working in her area in the low security jail in December.
“They were friends before but in December their relationship blossomed when he began working in her area and they grew closer,” a source said.
“There were letters she had written him and the Valentine’s Day car in his cell, it was clear they were romantically linked.”
The raven-haired beauty boasts a number of modelling profiles online and previously entered Maxim magazine’s cover girl competition ranking 17th.
She describes herself online as: “A very independent and strong minded woman. Life is always better in a bikini.”
A spokesman for NSW Corrective Services confirmed they had sacked Brooks on Wednesday.
“A 33-year-old correctional officer at Parklea Correctional Centre has been charged with having an inappropriate relationship with an inmate,” the spokesman said.
She was arrested at her home in Stanhope Gardens about 3.15pm yesterday and taken to Riverstone Police Station and issued a Court Attendance Notice for the new offence of engage in relationship with inmate cause safety risk to correctional centre.
She was also charged by police with engaging in a relationship with an inmate and causing a safety risk to a correctional centre.
Police will allege in court she was involved in a romantic relationship with a 41-year-old male inmate, which compromised her position as a correctional officer.
Zreika has been transferred to another jail while investigations continue.
Brooks is due to appear at Blacktown Local Court on Thursday, March 17.
She is the first person to be charged with the offence since the NSW government passed legislation to change the law last November.
Last year it was revealed prison guard Amy Connors allegedly had sex with convicted cop killer Sione Penisini at Kempsey maximum security prison.
The pair allegedly had sex in a prison cell.
Sources told The Daily Telegraph that Connors’ husband became suspicious she was having an affair and called the jail demanding to know who the other officer was only to be allegedly told: “Sorry, it’s an inmate”.
While not commenting on an individual case, Corrective Service Commissioner Peter Severin previously said last year some prisoners could be “extremely manipulative” – but there was no excuse.
“There is no excuse for it. Reality is humans are unfortunately at time susceptible to influences and what we need to do is make sure we give them professional backbone so they know how to manage the professional boundaries … If they do the wrong thing they need to go.”