The tribunal heard the nurse and the prisoner were involved in “intimate physical sexual acts’’. Picture: Stewart McLean
The tribunal heard the nurse and the prisoner were involved in “intimate physical sexual acts’’. Picture: Stewart McLean

Nurse’s efforts to hide prison sex trysts

A PRISON nurse had a secret sexual relationship with a patient who was serving a life sentence for murder, arranging for them to be alone together for trysts in the prison clinic, a tribunal has found.

The nurse, Susan Flyger, and the prisoner, who worked in the prison clinic, also exchanged letters about their sexual encounters, sexual desires and fantasies about each other.

Ms Flyger treated the prisoner 11 times at a Queensland Health medical clinic in Lotus Glen Correctional Centre, south of Mareeba, between 2014 and 2016, the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal heard.

The prisoner, who had been transferred from Brisbane Correctional Centre in 2013, to serve out the last years of his life sentence for murder, was 45 when the relationship began.

Soon after Ms Flyger, then 51, began treating the prisoner, "Patient X'', in 2014, he got a job in the Lotus Glen Health Service Medical Clinic.

The pair then began their sexual relationship, which the Tribunal heard involved "intimate physical sexual acts''.

The Lotus Glen Correctional Centre in far north Queensland. File picture: Marc McCormack
The Lotus Glen Correctional Centre in far north Queensland. File picture: Marc McCormack

Ms Flyger arranged for Patient X to attend the clinic, reassigning casual staff to another work area so she could see him in a spot where there were no cameras.

She also covered up a closed-circuit TV security camera on at least one occasion, so prison officers could not see them together.

Using a personal post office box and a pseudonym, Ms Flyger exchanged letters with the prisoner about their own and previous sexual encounters with other partners.

They also spoke of their desire to continue the relationship once the prisoner was granted parole.

Even after their letters were discovered and Ms Flyger was transferred to Mareeba Hospital, she continued writing to the prisoner.

Ms Flyger denied to Health Ombudsman investigators that she had sexual contact with the prisoner patient, but admitted to having strong emotional feelings for him.

She said she did not think she was being groomed, saying: "I think he feels about me the same way I feel about him''.

In August, 2016, the Health Ombudsman imposed conditions on Ms Flyger's registration and she lost her job with the Health Service, later working as a youth worker.

The relationship continued after Patient X's release from prison in late 2016, until April, 2017.

On November 14, QCAT deputy president, Judge John Allen reprimanded Ms Flyger for professional misconduct and disqualified her from applying for registration for six months.

Judge Allen said she had betrayed the significant trust placed in her by her employer, colleagues and prison officers.

Ms Flyger said her emotional vulnerability led her to perceive the prisoner's trust and friendliness as being love, which she was greatly lacking in her life.

Judge Allen said there was a strong suggestion that Patient X had exploited her vulnerability.


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