Hollesley: Young offenders’ prison mutiny cost taxpayer nearly £300,000

Warren Hill at Hollesley Bay

Warren Hill at Hollesley Bay - Credit: Archant

A PRISON mutiny which led to five young offenders receiving further detention sentences after running amok during a riot cost nearly £300,000.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that during the 12-hour mutiny at Warren Hill young offenders’ institution, Hollesley, a set of prison keys was taken from one of the guards.

This left the rioters able to unlock cell doors, walk freely between two units, and get into a governor’s office.

The mayhem occurred when young offenders became angry after they claimed their free access to public telephones had been changed to a booking system without their knowledge.

A barrister representing one of the defendants said he believed the incident would not have lasted so long if officers had quelled the trouble when it flared up.

The court also heard that at least one of the troublemakers was surprised the situation was allowed to escalate as officers withdrew.

Order was finally restored when specialist Tornado Teams – riot-trained prison response officers clad in body armour – were called in from around the region.

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However, by that time inmates had gone on a vandalism spree, wrecking two units making them uninhabitable. This resulted in inmates being moved to other prisons when order was restored.

During the trouble floors were flooded by water, other inmates were dragooned into joining the riot, and mop handles were used to damage walls and ceilings.

A television was smashed, tables were overturned and graffiti scrawled on walls.

The court heard at one stage inmate Korie Hassan, 20, was seen to go into a governor’s office daub the walls with graffiti, take some of the governor’s clothes and parade around in a riot helmet.

Another prisoner James Walsh, 19, became bored of causing havoc.

Prosecutor Nick Staite said: “When he had enough he went back to his cell, played on his Playstation and had a sleep until the Tornado Team arrived.”

Mr Staite said the total bill for the vandalism was £290,000. This included £90,000 for changing the prison locks.

The disturbance took place from around 7pm on November 2, 2010, until 7am the following day.

Two prison officers and at least two inmates sustained injuries during the incident.

Walsh, of Redcar was sentenced to two years’ detention. Hassan, of Thornton Heath, Surrey, Daniel Davis, 18, of London, and Hussein Abukah, 20, of Tottenham, were each sentenced to 16 months’ detention. All admitted prison mutiny.

Ricardo Bartholomew-Clarke, 17, of Feltham young offenders institute in Middlesex received eight months’ detention after admitting violent disorder.

Colin Hart, mitigating for Davis, said: “It (the riot) was just something which was not quelled properly. There’s no doubt the amount of damage caused is quite a lot and was significantly increased by, effectively, the (officers’) decision to withdraw. That’s not a criticism, just a regret.”

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