I fell for prisoner Id never met and got tattoo of his name – were now engaged

I fell for prisoner Id never met and got tattoo of his name – were now engaged

A British woman fell in love with a prisoner living in America – even though they'd never met.

Jacqui McDonald, from Bristol, signed up to "Write a Prisoner" in 2019 and started chatting to convicted robber LaDarius 'LA' Alexander, 31.

The 30-year-old psychology student connected with the inmate every day for three months and was soon smitten.

Jacqui got LA's name inked onto her chest and booked a flight to go and see him for the first time in November 2019.

Then shortly after the pair clapped eyes on each other for the first time, LA got down on one knee to pop the question.

Three years later, the couple are still going stronger than ever and Jacqui has added three more tattoos dedicated to her jailbird fiancé.

Jacqui, who has a six-year-old son from a previous partner, said: "I had just come out a relationship and wasn't ready to date anyone.

"But when LA and I started chatting, I found him so funny. I think that's what attracted me to him in our first messages to each other.

"On our first phone call two days later, I remember laughing the whole time.

"I didn't always understand his accent then but he had me in stitches.

"We're allowed 240 minutes of call time every day. In those first few weeks, we used up those minutes every day talking to each other.

"Our relationship just progressed and we quickly learned everything about one other."

"Even though we lived on opposite sides of the world, there were so many similarities between us.

"I was in love with him and had got a tattoo of his name on me but I knew I had to meet him in person to be sure…

"When I met LA for the first time, I felt like I had known him my whole life.

"There was never an awkward silence and he had me laughing all the time.

"I saw him over three days and on my second prison visit, he got down on one knee and proposed. I was so sure about our relationship and said yes immediately.

"When I returned home to the UK, he had organised a wedding ring for me through my friend and surprised me with a video proposal."

LA sends cards and gifts to Jacqui on special occasions – including jewellery for her birthday and chocolate for Valentine's Day.

He has also given money to his girlfriend so her son can have fun days out – and even helped pay for her car so she didn't have to get a finance plan.

Despite this, Jacqui is keen for people to know that dating a prisoner isn't glamorous.

The self-confessed "prison wife", who documents her experiences on TikTok, said: "Dating a prisoner is not all gifts, romance and plane tickets.

"At the end of the day, what you're left with is the reality of how you feel about this person."

Jacqui continued: "When the prison visit is up, it's emotional – it's especially hard for LA.

"There are some days which are really tough and we just miss each other.

"LA and I have to work through things other couples don't have to.

"Would I like to have a normal relationship with him? Of course I would – but I've come to accept and appreciate what we have.

"We've broken through some of the obstacles and it's made us stronger as a couple.

"In lockdown it became a trend for people to write a prisoner and start relationships with inmates for clout on social media.

"But the reality of dating someone in jail for as many years as me and LA have been together is a lot harder."

LA will be released by 2025 – although he could be out as early as summer 2022 if he gets his GED (General Educational Development).

When he does get released, they plan to have a long-distance relationship until Jacqui completes her PhD and they will then decide whether to settle in the UK or USA.

Jacqui has launched her own podcast called Xo3 to talk about the relationship.

But while she is excited about the future, she has to deal with the judgement of trolls and loved ones.

Jacqui added: "I've grown a bit of a thick skin since I put my relationship with LA out there on TikTok…

"Some trolls have said LA is using me and going to leave me. I'm not naive to how our relationship might look to people.

"At first, my family and friends were definitely sceptical about me and LA – they thought I was crazy and that I was putting my life on hold for him.

"LA had to send my mum a letter to prove how much he loved me. It moved her to tears and my family can see how good we are for each other now.

"He lifts me up and supports me mentally. I truly feel like the best version of me now – and that's thanks to LA.

"I'll be there for him the day LA come out. I see all the potential in him that other people can't or choose not to see and I want him to be the best he can be too".

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