Inquiry into murderer’s relationship with jail psychologist
Claims that notorious Norfolk Island murderer Glenn McNeill had an inappropriate relationship behind bars with a prison psychologist are under investigation.
McNeill killed 21-year-old former Sydney woman Janelle Patton in a frenzy of blows and stabbings on Easter Sunday 2002 - the first murder on the South Pacific island in more than 150 years.
It took detectives nearly four years to make an arrest before McNeill was ultimately given a life sentence.
Claims were made this week McNeill was having an inappropriate relationship with a psychologist working at Hunter Correctional Centre at Cessnock.
Corrective Services NSW has been carrying out their own investigation but said it had found no reasons to stand down the psychologist.
"We are aware of allegations involving an inmate and a psychologist, which we are investigating. This includes referral to NSW Police as required," a department statement said.
"No staff member has been marched off site at the Hunter Correctional Centre and no staff member has been suspended.
"All program areas are surrounded by windows and are patrolled at all times by correctional officers."
McNeill has been moved to a different maximum security jail but the department said it was "for security reasons".
The allegations first aired on 2GB's Ray Hadley Morning Show on Thursday.
"We're talking about a relationship that involved long, long, long one-on-one interviews," Hadley told his audience, after revealing the claims.
Police have been notified of the department's investigation however it is understood they will only start their own inquiries if evidence of criminal behaviour is reported to them.
NSW Corrections Minister Anthony Roberts on Thursday night told The Daily Telegraph he was reserving judgment on the issue.
"There has been some very serious allegations made - that's why it's important to investigate," Mr Roberts said.
"We put legislation in place to prevent any potential for inappropriate relationships."
A spate of jailhouse romances prompted new legislation in November 2018.
NSW introduced a new offence for any prison officer who engaged in sexual conduct with an inmate, with the potential sentence of two years in jail.
Prison guard Amy Meshell Connors was among the first officers to put the issue on the public agenda when she struck up a relationship with cop killer Sione Penisini inside the Mid North Coast jail in Kempsey.
She escaped a jail sentence herself after a court found the relationship was "intimate and not sexual" and she was granted a 12-month community corrections order.
Originally published as Inquiry into murderer's relationship with jail psychologist