Prison officer had fling with murderer inmate and gave birth to his child

By Michael Drummond, PA South East Correspondent
·2-min read

A female prison officer who engaged in a forbidden fling with a convicted killer gave birth to his child, a court has heard.

Young mother Kerianne Stephens, 26, appeared in court on Monday after admitting misconduct over her months-long tryst with inmate Louis Tate.

Tate, who was jailed for life in 2010 for mowing down father-of-three Garry Frater, is believed to be the father of her young child, the court heard.

Appearing at Maidstone Crown Court, Stephens also pleaded guilty to a charge of making unauthorised transmissions from inside a prison, meaning she will no longer stand trial on that charge next year.

She had worked as a prison officer at HMP Swaleside, a Category B men’s prison on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, where Tate was being held.

HMP Swaleside stock
A general view from the air of HMP Swaleside on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent (John Stillwell/PA)

Stephens, of Woodlands Road in Aylesford, appeared in court wearing a grey skirt and black top.

Tate sported a beard and glasses as well as a grey jumper as he appeared in the dock.

At a previous hearing Tate pleaded guilty to the charge of sending unauthorised transmissions from inside HMP Swaleside.

He was jailed for life with a minimum term of 18 years in 2010 for murdering Mr Frater, 32, by hitting him with a Ford Fiesta in 2009.

Mr Frater was crushed under the vehicle after it accelerated back over him and deliberately drove over him again before driving off, the trial heard.

Mr Frater and friends had been followed as they took a minicab home from a club in Watford, Hertfordshire, 10 miles away.

Tate served time at HMP Swaleside in Kent where Stephens worked and the pair entered into a sexual relationship.

The fling went on for several months between September 2018 and January 2019.

Tate was moved to another prison after their relationship was revealed.

Sentencing was adjourned so that a probation report on Stephens could be prepared.

Judge Philip Statman told her: “Regrettably you must prepare yourself to face an immediate custodial sentence.”

He said he would give “anxious consideration” to the child when deciding her sentence.

Both defendants will appear for sentencing on November 12.

Stephens was released on bail.

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