Inmate broke prison guard's jaw to force move to new jail

HMP Highpoint in Stradishall near Newmarket Picture: ARCHANT

Sam Morrison assaulted Daniel Nash at HMP Highpoint - Credit: Eastern Daily Press, Archant

An inmate who broke a prison guard's jaw in two places with a single punch has been jailed for another 28 months.

Sam Morrison said he punched Highpoint warden Daniel Nash in order to be moved away from a group of other prisoners.

The 22-year-old admitted wounding without intent to cause grievous bodily harm at a hearing before magistrates on February 4.

On Friday, he appeared for sentencing at Ipswich Crown Court via video link from HMP Hewell, in Redditch.

Prosecutor Michael Allin said Morrison launched an unprovoked attack on Mr Nash as inmates queued in the work area of the prison at about 4.25pm on October 29, 2019.

Mr Nash was taken to Ipswich Hospital with a broken jaw, which surgeons later fitted with three plates and 11 screws. 

In a victim impact statement, Mr Nash said the incident had destroyed his idea of normal life, leaving everyday tasks an upsetting challenge, and rendering him unable to play with his children in the same way for fear of causing more damage.

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Morrison, formerly of no fixed address in Gorleston, had already been moved from Norwich prison, where he had thrown water over a guard in an effort to get moved away from a group of rival inmates. 

Reading from a letter, Morrison said he was instead kept in his cell for five weeks and ended up "harbouring a resentment" towards prison guards when eventually moved to Highpoint, near Stradishall, where a members of the same rival group of inmates subsequently turned up.

Morrison said he had to do "something big" in order to be moved to a higher security jail.

"I saw a way out," he added.

"With great hesitation and fear, I ran up to Daniel and punched him as hard as I could.

"I just meant to put on enough of a show to get myself shipped as far away as possible.

"Rightly or wrongly, I did what I had to do to survive."

Morrison spent another two months in segregation before being transferred to HMP Hewell, where he had been due for release from a sentence for robbery next Monday. 

Marc Brown, mitigating, said police had everything they needed to charge Morrison sooner than last December and avoid such an untimely sentencing.

Recorder John Broke-Smith said Morrison had intentionally targeted Mr Nash, who had suffered a "serious, vicious and unprovoked attack" in the course of discharging public duties.

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