Wales, UK – A former prison guard in Wales is facing trial after allegedly engaging in a five-month relationship with a drug dealer inmate. Ruth Shmylo, 26, is accused of having a “secret phone sex” affair with 24-year-old Harri Pullen while working at HMP Parc in Bridgend. The court was told that Pullen, a known member of an organized crime group, became increasingly threatening towards staff after Shmylo was dismissed from her position. This case raises concerns about professional boundaries and the safety of prison staff.
According to the head of security, Dan Hayman, Pullen’s behavior deteriorated significantly after Shmylo’s termination. Staff members noticed an increase in threats and aggression towards them. The court heard that Pullen believed Shmylo had been involved with other men while they were together. The fear was that their established relationship could put prison staff at risk.
Pullen, described as a “dominating” character within the prison system, was eventually moved to HMP Manchester, also known as Strangeways, for his own safety. Her defense lawyer, Claire Wilks, argued that Pullen posed a security risk and had manipulative tendencies. Wilks also emphasized Shmylo’s vulnerability, stating that she was a young and attractive woman who could easily be manipulated.
Prosecutor Matthew Cobbe revealed that the alleged affair began when Pullen passed Shmylo his mobile number on a slip of paper. They would engage in daily phone calls, including explicit conversations. Pullen referred to Shmylo as his “Mrs.” and even arranged for his mother to meet her. Shmylo claimed that Pullen threatened to harm another inmate if she stopped communicating with him. In an attempt to protect the other prisoner, Shmylo kept him in his cell all day to prevent any contact with Pullen.
During her interview with the police, Shmylo disclosed that Pullen forced her to meet his mother. Pullen’s mother then divulged information about her son, aimed at showing Shmylo his true nature. Despite her compliance, Shmylo expressed her reluctance to meet Pullen’s mother initially. The court was informed that she reluctantly went along with it because his mother had made an effort.
Shmylo, who was employed at Parc Prison between August 2020 and April 2021, failed her probation period and was subsequently dismissed. She now denies the charge of misconduct in a public office. The trial continues as the court seeks to establish the extent of the relationship between Shmylo and Pullen and the potential risks it may have posed.