Murder accused Paul Robson 'had affair with Caroline Kayll in prison'

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Caroline KayllImage source, Family handout
Image caption,
Caroline Kayll died in hospital after being attacked at her home in Linton, Northumberland

A man accused of murdering his ex-partner told a court they had a sexual relationship during two spells while he was in prison and she worked there.

Paul Robson, 50, denies blackmailing and murdering Caroline Kayll, 47, and attempting to murder a boy she was in an unlawful relationship with.

The ex-prison officer turned teacher and the 15-year-old were attacked at her home in November, a jury has heard.

Mr Robson told Newcastle Crown Court he first met Mrs Kayll in 2005.

She was married to a security manager at what was to become HMP Northumberland, when he was serving time and she worked in prison education, the court heard.

"She started telling us she had feelings for me," the former cage fighter said.

"I was a bit taken aback. I did like her, she was lovely.

"I did fancy her but I thought, 'dangerous ground, prison officer' and I was not too keen to stick my neck through the noose".

Defending, James Mulholland QC, asked: "Did it become sexual at that stage?"

Mr Robson replied: "Not intercourse but it was sexual."

Image source, Crown Prosecution Service
Image caption,
Paul Robson ran fitness programmes and was a cage fighter

He was released and did not see Mrs Kayll for many years, he told the court, until he was back behind bars in 2014.

The jury has heard Mr Robson was jailed for 10 years for drug and firearms offences.

He was a cleaner at HMP Northumberland and claimed Mrs Kayll applied for him to work on the education department and their relationship started again.

"It was wrong because we were in prison and we couldn't relax but I liked her," he said.

He said they had a sexual relationship behind bars for around a year until he was released.

'I loved her'

Mr Robson said he had planned to settle in Scotland having previously lived there, but he said he changed his mind when Mrs Kayll told him she had cancer.

He said they went to stay in a converted barn for the weekend when he was released and she told him about her health.

Mr Robson said he then thought: "I'm going to stay to support her."

Mr Mulholland asked: "How did you feel about her?"

"I loved her," he replied.

He said about six months after his release Mrs Kayll left her husband and moved into a friend's cottage where he would regularly stay.

Asked if her husband had known about their relationship behind bars, he said: "I don't think he had a clue."

Earlier, Mr Robson told the court he had 21 convictions for 92 offences over more than 30 years and there had been lengthy spells in jail.

He said he had only had two cage fights, both in 2010, and he was more interested in conditioning coaching.

Mr Robson, from Stanley Street, Wallsend, is also accused of blackmailing Mrs Kayll when he found out about her having sex with a boy and threatened to ruin her.

The trial continues.

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