Locked up in love

Locked up in love

People fall in love in all kinds of places... sometimes even in a prison! 

For these two members of the Blue Light community, their eyes locked across the prison visitors hall at HMP Berwyn five years ago, and the rest was history.  

Emma Roberts (26) and Kris Payne (33), met while both working at the prison in Wrexham in 2019. Emma an operational support grade at the time, and Kris, a prison officer, fortuitously met on a day when they were both supposed to be off.   

The happy couple have shared their love story with us this Valentine’s Day, having found love in the unlikeliest of places. 

According to Emma, who has worked in the blue light community for 6 years, it took Kris a couple of attempts to approach her – but once he did, they clicked straight away.  

How did you meet?  

“It was freezing and a busy day in the prison. I was warming myself up next to a radiator. I thought Kris was going to tell me to cheer up as I looked grumpy! He kept coming over to me and then walking away - little did I know he was building up the courage to introduce himself. Despite working at the prison for over a year, our paths had never crossed. 

“Because it was so busy, we didn’t get the chance to exchange details but Kris got hold of my email address from a colleague and, after a few messages back and forth, we arranged to meet up outside of work”.  

What did you get up to on your first date?  

“Working in a prison can be tough, so we wanted to do something relaxing for our first date. It started great, with afternoon tea followed by ice skating – which was hilarious as Kris had two left feet! The day then took a bit of a turn when my car battery died in the middle of nowhere. Both of our phones lost signal, meaning we had to sit for two hours waiting for the car to start again. 

"We look back at it now and laugh at our misfortune. Luckily for us, the date went well otherwise it could have been a very long couple of hours.” 

How did you know you were right for one another?  

“Kris and I are so similar which is something we realised early on in our relationship. We don’t take things too seriously which certainly helps after a long day in our line of work and we both love to travel. We’re looking forward to our first family holiday abroad this year; our aim is to visit all capital cities in Europe.” 

Over the past five years, Emma and Kris have welcomed their two-year-old son, Elliot into the world and have plans to continue growing their family in the not too distant future.  

Keep your eyes peeled for more member stories in the coming months!