Prison guard had 'intimate relationship with inmate'

·2-min read
Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS

While visiting an inmate, prison guard Nicole Lisa Georgiou's buttocks were squeezed as they embraced.

Days later, prisoner Teariki Touna May did it again when she visited him at the Queensland jail.

The conduct - along with explicit phone calls - led to Georgiou, 44, being charged with having an intimate relationship with an inmate, a court has been told.

The relationship was discovered during an investigation into the potential supply of drugs in prisons in mid-2022, police prosecutor Tim Wise said.

Police raided Georgiou's Gold Coast residence and found 195 strips of the drug buprenorphine but did not pursue supply charges, Brisbane Magistrates Court was told on Tuesday.

However, a police examination of her phone revealed Georgiou had formed a relationship with May.

A prison phone system review discovered explicit calls between them that supported the relationship was "sexualised", Mr Wise said.

At the time Georgiou was a prison guard at Arthur Gorrie jail.

May was an inmate at Woodford Correctional Centre, where Georgiou had previously worked, Mr Wise said.

A police investigation revealed that over a period in 2022 Georgiou had visited May at Woodford about 20 times.

Their conduct during two visits in June 2022 supported Georgiou being charged with having an intimate relationship with an inmate, Mr Wise said.

On one occasion, they "embraced each other tightly" with May twice squeezing Georgiou's buttocks.

There was similar behaviour during the other visit days later including a "10 second buttock squeeze".

Mr Wise said they were "embraces that meet the definition of this type of offending".

"I have not encountered this offence before," he said.

The court heard Georgiou had also transferred money into the prisoner's account.

Georgiou has since lost her job at Arthur Gorrie prison, west of Brisbane, the court heard.

Magistrate Michael Quinn took it into account before sentencing Georgiou who had no criminal history.

"You have lost your employment, you have no doubt been deeply embarrassed in the community, you will have difficulty in securing employment in the future," he said.

Mr Quinn described Georgiou's offending as "minor type of intimate contact".

"However, the problem for you is of course that it was prohibited and it is prohibited for very good reason, part of that is to maintain security and control in the prison environment," he said.

Police dropped charges of aggravated supply of drugs within a correctional facility and misconduct in public office.

Georgiou pleaded guilty to having an intimate relationship with an inmate as well as possessing dangerous drugs.

She was fined $1000, with no conviction recorded.