Model’s bid to have charges dropped
SACKED prison officer and bikini model Tara Brooks will apply to have a charge of having an intimate relationship with a convicted drug dealer jail inmate dropped on mental health grounds.
The 33-year-old pole dancer and aspiring actress did not appear at Blacktown Local Court today and is on strict bail conditions not to go within 50m of the border fence of any prison in NSW.
Court documents seen by news.com.au allege that Ms Brooks "did engage in an intimate relationship with inmate Hassan Zreika at the Parklea Correctional Centre whilst performing duties as a correctional officer, causing a potential risk to the safety or security of the correctional centre".
Sentenced drug supplier Zreika reportedly kept a photograph of Ms Brooks on the wall of his Parklea prison cell.
The court documents allege Ms Brooks has made "full admissions" about the offence and that "physical items have located" that support the prosecution case.
A lawyer representing Ms Brooks on one charge of engage in relationship with inmate cause safety risk to correctional centre told the court she was excused from her first appearance on the grounds she would apply for a Section 32, or dismissal for mental health reasons.
Police allege her relationship with Zreika "compromised her position as a correctional officer" and that she "consciously entered into a relationship with an inmate she was employed to guard" between December last year and February 13 this year.
Detectives from the Corrective Services Investigation Unit began an investigation earlier this year after receiving reports Ms Brooks' relationship with the 41-year-old prisoner at Parklea prison in western Sydney had become inappropriate.
A bikini model who featured in men's magazine Maxim, Ms Brooks is alleged to have met Zreika, who is serving time for drug related offences, while working as a prison officer at Parklea.
Police allege Ms Brooks tried to send Zreika a Valentine's Day card under another name, but jail investigators traced the card back to a post office box registered in her name.
On the Maxim Cover Girl site, Ms Brooks is described as being a "very independent and strong-minded woman".
Her Instagram account, which reportedly had 63,000 followers, was deleted following her arrest last month.
The GEO Group, which operates Parklea Correctional Centre, immediately fired Ms Brooks and inmate Zreika was transferred to another NSW prison.
Ms Brooks will be required to appear at Blacktown Court on April 17, when she will apply for dismissal of the charge.
The charge of engaging in a relationship with an inmate to cause a risk to the safety of a correctional centre is a newly legislated offence which was formerly dealt with internally by Corrective Services NSW.