Inmate strikes officer in fracas

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A WIGAN prisoner who struck an officer during a fight with a fellow inmate was spared an increase to his sentence.

A hearing at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court heard Joshua Aspey “had seen red” but had no intention of hitting the female prison officer.

The 18-year-old at Hindley Young Offenders Institution (YOI) pleaded guilty to an assault charge and was handed a six-month conditional discharge.

Mike Ardern, prosecuting, said: “The officer was supervising a load of prisoners on a wing in the evening of June 26 when the defendant became involved in a fight with another prisoner.

“He was hitting out and would not stop even when attempts were made to split them up.

“The other prisoner was moved away but Aspey still kept hitting out and made contact with her head.

“The prison authorities take a zero tolerance approach to this type of behaviour.”

Mr Ardern added that the impact to the officer had caused bruising around the left eye.

Aspey is serving a term at HMYOI Hindley for burglary and is due to be released early next year.

The court heard the other prisoner “had issues in the prison” and was a new arrival.

Martin Jones, defending, told the court the inmate had decided to take out his frustrations on his client.

And the officer had made it clear in her report Aspey had not intended to strike her.

Mr Jones said: “He takes no pride in his behaviour.

“His family are here today to support him but do not in any way condone his behaviour.

“The prison regime has already punished him, he had his privileges suspended as a result of the incident and he has adhered to all the courses he has been asked to attend.

“He has no other convictions for assault.”

The presiding magistrate said: “We accept that it was not deliberate but it was still a serious incident.”