Prison Officer has part of ear bitten off

HMP Nottingham
HMP Nottingham

A prison officer had part of his ear bitten off by an inmate during an attack at Nottingham Prison.

Nottinghamshire Police said it was called to HMP Nottingham just before 9.30am on Wednesday to reports that an officer had been assaulted by an inmate.

The officer was taken to Queen’s Medical Centre for treatment.

The Ministry of Justice said it has passed the matter to Nottinghamshire Police for investigation.

A spokeswoman for Nottinghamshire Police said: “Police were called to HMP Nottingham at 9.28am on Wednesday (July 30, 2014).

“A prison officer had been assaulted and suffered a wound to his ear. He was taken to Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre.

“An investigation is under way.”

A Prison Service spokesperson said: “Prison staff do an excellent job and their safety and security is of paramount importance. Anyone who is violent towards them – or anyone else in prison – can expect to face severe consequences.

“We have referred this incident to the police and are helping them with their inquiries. We always press for the most serious charges to be laid against anyone who is violent in prison.”

Prison Officer Assaults up by 45%

officerfullsutton

The number of serious assaults on prison officers by offenders has risen significantly under the coalition prompting one prisons expert to predict our prisons are on the verge of serious unrest.

A total of 543 assaults by prisoners on officers in jails were referred to the police in 2012, a 45% rise from the 374 assaults referred to police in 2010 when the coalition came to power, official figures showed.

The figure equated to nearly three assaults every two days in 2012.

Shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan said that dedicated and hard-working prison officers should not have to face violence at work and blamed the Government for allowing jails to become overcrowded.

Mr Khan, who unveiled the figures using a written parliamentary question, said: “How can ministers expect to rehabilitate criminals if prisons are dens of violence?

“On their watch, this Government have presided over prisons becoming more and more overcrowded and violent.

“We’ve seen call outs by the prison riot squad up sharply, and last year saw the highest number of deaths in custody for over a decade.

“And all the time prisoners are spending too much time idling away in their cells or on landings instead of undertaking meaningful activity like work, education or training.

“It’s not an overstatement to say that prisons are in crisis and the Government are either oblivious or simply don’t care.”

Prisons Minister Jeremy Wright said the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) is reviewing policy for managing violence in prisons.

Replying to Mr Khan’s question, he said: “NOMS takes the issue of assaults on prison staff very seriously. It currently has systems in place to deal with perpetrators quickly and robustly, with serious incidents referred to the police for prosecution.

“It is working with the police and Crown Prosecution Service to ensure that prisoners who assault staff are charged and punished appropriately.

“NOMS is committed to exploring options to continue to improve how violence is tackled in prisons to keep both staff and prisoners safe. It is currently reviewing the policy and practice of the management of violence.”

Mark Leech, editor of Converse the national newspaper for prisons in England and Wales said the rise in assaults was largely due to savage budget cuts.

Mr Leech said: “Since 2010 over half a billion pounds has been slashed from prison budgets, resulting in fewer staff being employed and as a result already attenuated regimes being reduced even further.

“You cannot expect prison Governors to do everything with next to nothing, our prisons cannot be run on a shoe-string and while Cameron, Clegg and Osbourne are sitting pretty in their ivory towers our prisons are in increasing danger of exploding – I’d like to see Cameron, Clegg and Osbourne manning the landings at Full Sutton for a day; they’d soon change their tune.”

Holloway Prison Officer Jailed

Jailed Prison Officer Sophia King-Chinnery
Jailed Prison Officer Sophia King-Chinnery

A prison officer has been jailed after she enjoyed a secret lesbian romance with an inmate serving life for murder in a Holloway Prison.

Sophia King-Chinnery, 25, embarked on a relationship with Sarah Anderson after she was locked up at the notorious jail in Parkhurst Road for a minimum of 15 years for stabbing a cyclist to death in the street.

They exchanged hundreds of love letters in which Anderson addressed the prison officer as her “wife”, Southwark Crown Court heard.

King-Chinnery also allowed the inmate to keep a mobile phone for eight months so the pair could spend hours chatting to each other.

But the convicted murder was left distraught after hearing rumours that King-Chinnery was cheating on her.

After being confronted by bosses King-Chinnery accepted she had an “emotional relationship” with her jailbird lover after experiencing difficulties with her colleagues, but letters between the two were said to “make clear” the relationship was sexual.

King-Chinnery, of Hook Rise South, Surbiton, Surrey, admitted to two counts of misconduct in a public office and sobbed after she was sentenced to 10 months in prison on Friday.

Sentencing, Judge Michael Gledhill QC told her: “The fact of the matter is you were a prison officer and from the moment you became a prison officer, you were well aware of the rules, which don’t include having any sort of personal relationship with the prisoners that you are supposed to be looking after.

“I’m aware you will have a much harder time than others when serving your sentence but you brought that on yourself.”

Prosecutor Andrew Howarth said: “Clearly the relationship went further than an emotional one.’

“The letters made clear the nature of the relationship between the two women was sexual.”

The judge gave Anderson a concurrent three-month prison term after she admitted to causing the transmission of a sound or image from prison.

‘Tornado’ Prison Officers Allege Oakwood Riot Cover-up

oakwood

Britain’s biggest privately-run jail downplayed a ‘full scale riot’ which saw inmates take over an entire wing and booby-trap the doorways, a prison officer has claimed – causing one commentator to say that if true G4S should lose all their prison contracts.

Prisoners were in a nine-hour stand-off with guards earlier this month at the £150 million HMP Oakwood near Wolverhampton, run by G4S and nicknamed ‘Jokewood’ for its alleged lax security.

But while the firm insisted just ’15 to 20′ were involved, an officer who dealt with the incident has said it was a ‘full-scale riot’ with many more.

Speaking to the BBC, the specially-trained officer said he was part of a ‘tornado team’ drafted in to tackle the prisoners.

The anonymous man told Hannah Barnes of The Report, to be aired tonight on BBC Radio 4: ‘Our briefing was that the prisoners were armed and dangerous and that it was a very large number of prisoners and they had completely taken over an entire wing of the prison.

They’d interfered with locks to try and prevent staff getting into the wing and they were destroying everything they could get their hands on. I did hear prisoners shouting threats, saying, “We’re ready for you, come on – we’re gonna get you” and words to that effect.”

He said debris and iron bars had been thrown to the floor in Cedar Wing and tripwires had been strung up at neck, chest and leg height.

He added: ‘I would sum it up as a full-scale prison riot and we were very lucky that it only took place on one unit and didn’t spread.’

G4S has firmly denied the allegations.

Another officer, who also remained anonymous, told the BBC staffing at the prison was so low it put suicidal inmates at risk – and sometimes suicide watch records were falsified due to a lack of time.

G4S told the BBC any allegation of falsified records would be fully investigated.

One of Britain’s largest with 1,600 inmates, Oakwood Prison was described as a model for future prisons by the government yet has been beset by controversy.

In October inspectors gave it the lowest possible rating – quoting one prisoner who said drugs were easier to get hold of than basics like soap.

Staff were passive and ‘compliant almost to the point of complicity’, they said, and they found hard core pornography on cell walls despite the jail holding some 300 sex offenders.

Responding to the prison officer’s claims, a G4S spokesman told the BBC the incident was still under investigation but it was a case of ‘concerted indiscipline’ confined to one wing, and the jail is improving.

‘The incident was brought under control just after 2am without injury to any prison officers, although one prisoner has been treated for minor injuries.

‘Reports of prison staff being taken hostage are completely untrue. The safety of our personnel and those prisoners in our care is our top priority, and we are grateful to our colleagues who were able to help us bring the incident to a close safely, and effectively.

‘Established incident procedures were followed correctly and worked as they were meant to.

‘An investigation has now commenced into the reasons for this disruption, as well as a criminal investigation.’

Speaking to the Today programme, Jerry Petherick, managing director for custodial and detention services at G4S, said it was more difficult because Oakwood was being treated as a test case by politicians and the public.

He said: ‘I think it would be useful for people to acknowledge the very good work my staff are doing at Oakwood.

‘There was an instance of concerted indiscipline that was dealt with. For a period of time that wing was occupied by prisoners. It was a number of hours as we accumulated the necessary resources to contain the incident.

‘I would like to see Oakwood come out of the media spotlight to give people the opportunity to develop the work. If you’re operating in the media spotlight everything becomes magnified.’

Mark Leech editor of Converse the national newspaper for prisoners in England and Wales said if the cover up claims proved to be true it was time for G4S to lose its prison contracts.

Mr Leech said: “I absolutely get why Jerry Petherick wants to see Oakwood come out of the spotlight, G4S has shareholders for whom this constant criticism must be deeply concerning coming as it does on top of the tagging fraud scandal, devastating criticism of Oakwood from the Chief Inspector of prisons, not to mention the Olympics debacle – the solution however is not to blame the media, but for G4S to get a grip on the prison’s management.

“Tornado teams sent to Oakwood to qwell the riot would have been fully briefed on what was known based on what incident commanders on the ground were reporting – that briefing now needs to be published.

“If the cover-up claims prove to be true G4S should lose its prisons contracts – it would be a dishonesty that simply could not be overolooked nor tolerated.”

Reports at the time claimed up to 40 inmates had taken two guards hostage during the riot – before demanding McDonald’s meals were brought to their cells.

Yet G4S and the Ministry of Justice dismissed these claims as ‘completely untrue’.

A joint statement read: ‘The disruption, which was confined to one wing of the Category C prison for male prisoners, began just after 5pm on [January 5] as prisoners were out of their cells on association, and involved around 15-20 prisoners, who threatened officers and caused damage to cells and prison property.

‘A number of prisoners returned to their cells voluntarily. The Ministry of Justice was informed immediately, and standard procedures were initiated to deal with the incident, with rapid response teams deployed. Staffordshire Police were also informed.

‘Owing to damage caused to cells, a number of prisoners were moved to other wings and to other prisons in the area.

Back From The Dead Prison Officer Faces Jail

John-Darwin

The back-from-the-dead canoe fraudster, former Holme House prison officer John Darwin (left), from Hartlepool, is facing a return to prison after he left the UK without permission to meet a statuesque Ukrainian in a mini-skirt.

The 63-year-old was pictured in The Sun on a date with a blonde woman in her 20s in the town of Sumy, 1,500 miles from his home.

He was freed early on licence in January 2011 after being sentenced in 2008 to serve six years and three months for fraud.

That meant he was not allowed to leave the UK without Probation Service permission until all of his sentence was served.

A source close to the case said: “He is facing a return to prison for travelling abroad without permission.”

The Probation Service would not speak about individual cases but a spokesman said: “Any offender subject to licence supervision is required to gain permission from probation to travel outside of the UK; permission is only granted in exceptional circumstances.

“Any offender who travels without this permission will be subject to recall to custody.

“In these circumstances the Probation Service works closely with the police to implement the recall.”

It was believed Darwin was still in the Ukraine.

According to The Sun, Darwin and his date, a local woman named Anna, enjoyed a two-hour meal assisted by a translator, but the evening turned sour when he was confronted by a reporter.

The newspaper said Darwin first made contact with the woman over the internet.

He faked his own death in a canoeing accident in 2002 so his then wife Anne (right) could claim hundreds of thousands of pounds from insurance policies and pension schemes.

The couple, from Seaton Carew, were jailed at Teesside Crown Court in 2008 for the swindle, which deceived the police, a coroner, financial institutions and even their sons Mark and Anthony.

Darwin admitted fraud so received a slightly shorter sentence than Anne, who denied the offences. They have now divorced.

After faking his own death, Darwin continued to live in secret with his wife before they escaped to Panama to start a new life.

But in December 2007 Darwin walked into a London police station claiming he had amnesia and was reunited with his stunned sons.

His wife, then still in Panama, initially also claimed to be surprised – until a photograph emerged of them posing together.

Prison Officer Arrested

wormwood

A former prison officer was arrested today by detectives investigating alleged corrupt payments to public officials, police said.

The 39-year-old man was arrested at his home in Waltham Forest, north-east London, at about 6am on suspicion of misconduct in a public office and corruption, Scotland Yard said.

He is the 66th person arrested under Operation Elveden, Scotland Yard’s investigation into alleged inappropriate payments by journalists to public officials.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Officers from Operation Elveden arrested a man at his home in the London borough of Waltham Forest this morning, June 6.

“The 39-year-old man (Elveden arrest 66) is a former prison officer.

“He was arrested at approximately 0600hrs for suspected misconduct in a public office and suspected corruption and is being interviewed at an east London police station.”