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CORRUPTION PROBE: Prison chief and governor wife in court over computer misuse and cocaine


A PRISON chief and his governor wife wife have appeared in court in connection with an anti-corruption and drug probe.

Pete Nichols, a corruption prevention manager at Category B Wormwood Scrubs, his wife Jessica and another prison staff member are alleged to have accessed sensitive information from prison computer systems for unauthorised purposes.

Mrs Nichols, 41, is a governor at young offenders institution HMP Feltham in west London.

A third prison staff member, Gareth Casella, 42, from Egham, Surrey, has also been charged.

Both Nichols, both from Chertsey, Surrey, and Casella, appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court this morning<April14>.

Mr Nichols, 47, is charged with two counts of causing a computer to perform a function to secure/enable unauthorised access to a program/data held in a computer in the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, contrary to section 1(1) and (3) of the Computer Misuse Act 1990, between November 7 and December 15 2021.

He is also charged with a further count of possession of cocaine at Chertsey on December 14 2021.

Mrs Nichols is charged with the same offences as her husband plus one further computer misuse offence at Feltham on November 8 2021.

Casella is charged with two counts of causing a computer to perform a function to secure/enable unauthorised access to a program/data held in a computer in the Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, contrary to section 1(1) and (3) of the Computer Misuse Act 1990, between November 7 and December 15 2021.

He is also alleged to have between September 15 2022 and February 9 this year failed to disclose a six digit pin to an Apple iPhone.

At a brief hearing, the three spoke only to confirm their identities and no pleas were entered.

Applications for their addresses to be suppressed by the court on safety grounds for their children were rejected by Deputy District Judge Mark Studdert.

All three were released on unconditional bail to appear at Southwark Crown Court next month.

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