Judge blasts ‘wanton orgy’ of prison riot

Hindley prison
Hindley prison
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A group of teenagers involved in a three-hour disturbance at a Wigan young offenders’ institution are to spend further time behind bars.

The rebellion in B wing at Hindley Prison left a trail of destruction costing £13,500, and some of the culprits threw boiling water at prison officers as well as hurling other objects at them.

Liverpool Crown Court heard the incident began after they were being returned to their rooms following an association period. They began throwing items over the landings at prison officers below and then jumped over the railings onto the netting, after which they began kicking open store rooms and using items from them as weapons.

Officers, who had to don full protective clothing to avoid injury, had boiling water thrown over them from above as well as having hoses and fire extinguishers turned on them.

The six defendants, along with a co-accused who failed to attend court for sentence, had all admitted violent disorder at the YOI on the afternoon of October 19 2014. A more serious charge of prison mutiny was dropped.

Judge David Aubrey QC said: “B wing was lost by the authorities for about three hours. Considerable damage was caused and it was a wanton orgy. Some of you joined in with gusto which contributed to that ugly incident and each of you caused mayhem, intending to do so.

“Such behaviour within a custodial institution cannot, and will not, be tolerated.

“During the course of this disturbance notice boards were ripped off the wall, items thrown at prison officers, many of you jumped on the netting, store room doors were kicked open, television, Xbox games machines and CCTV cameras were damaged and fire extinguishers used. And it would appear some boiling water at times by some of you was thrown.”

The judge, who watched video evidence of the disturbance, added: “All of you seemed to be enjoying what you were doing. Many of you were enthusiastic and in consequence the wing had to be shut down. The harm and potential harm to prison officers is apparent and the concern and anxiety of others within the custodial institution again is apparent.”

He said that while each of them “contributed to the whole picture” the ringleaders were Damon Sehra and Aled Vaughan-Lewis.

At the time the defendants were aged between 15 and 17. Some have since been released, some are still serving sentences and “regrettably” others have been returned to serve sentences or awaiting trial, he said.

“While it may be that you were youths at the time and are now adults it is a matter of considerable conjecture if any of you has matured,” he added.

Sehra, 19, of no fixed address, was sentenced to eight months’ detention. Alex Williams, 18, Lewis Adams, also 18, and both of no fixed address, and Macauley Jennings Heald, 19, of Ridyard Street, Little Hulton, each received six months.

A 17-year-old from Ashton-under-Lyne, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was sentenced to four months.

Vaughan-Lewis, 18, of Pentre Street, Wrexham, was given 10 months’ detention, but the judge suspended it for two years, pointing out that he has since displayed a different attitude from the others. He had been inside serving his first sentence and has since kept out of trouble and now has a job. He was also placed under supervision for 12 months and has to carry out 140 hours’ unpaid work.

Defence counsel said the defendants now regretted their “juvenile stupidity and over-exuberance.”

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of the seventh defendant, Yasin Jabarkhail, 18, of Crescent Road, Crumpsall, Manchester.