Psychologist Krishna Duangpatra quits over jail affair with prison inmate

May 31, 2010

A PRISON psychologist has given up her career for love after becoming the latest from her profession to fall for convicted armed robber Mark Cougan.

Authorities became concerned at the apparent attraction between the 41-year-old offender - who is serving 28 years' jail for robbery, conspiracy and perjury - and Krishna Duangpatra during their counselling sessions at Wolston Correctional Centre.

Ms Duangpatra has resigned from her job at Wolston and withdrawn her registration as a psychologist to avoid disciplinary action by the Psychologists Board of Queensland.

She is now employed as a counsellor with youth services charity Boystown, and is unable to even visit her love in prison because of her detailed knowledge of the jail.

A Corrective Services spokesman said the pair could correspond through letters which would be screened, as a matter of routine, by the prison.

Cougan, whose criminal history dates back to 1984, is not due for release until May 8, 2018.

A love letter from another female psychologist was found in Cougan's cell at another correctional centre in 1997. At the time, Cougan was moved to another prison and the psychologist resigned.

Prison sources said Cougan was flagged within Wolston to be watched with women staff members because of his history.

"This inmate is highly manipulative and develops a somewhat false charm that these psychologists, of all people, fall for," said the source.

The Corrective Services spokesman said all allegations of inappropriate relationships were immediately referred to the Ethical Standards Branch for investigation.

"(That) may result in dismissal or other disciplinary measures," he said.

"All staff are bound by a code of conduct and are expected to maintain professional standards."


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