Warders in dock for attack on teen

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TWO Hindley Prison warders gave a 15-year-old boy “a beating” in his cell after he spat in the face of one of them, a jury heard.

Within hours of the assault, the alleged victim was transferred to another Young Offenders’ Institution, near Bristol, but on arrival his facial injuries were noticed, and he said officers at the Wigan jail were responsible.

Liverpool Crown Court was told the attack had been witnessed by another prison officer, who later “blew the whistle” on his two colleagues.

In the dock are Shaun Owen, of Parkfields, Abram, and Stephen Hughes, of Liverpool Road, Ainsdale, Southport.

Hughes, 36, who was the senior officer, and 42-year-old Owen both deny assaulting the boy, causing him actual bodily harm, 18 months ago.

Andrew Ford, prosecuting, told the jury that the boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was at the YOI having been sentenced to eight months’ detention and training for attempted robbery.

The court heard he comes from Bermondsey, London, and had been transferred to Hindley as it was believed he had a remand appearance in a court in the area.

On July 8, 2010, he was involved in a fight in the exercise yard with an inmate, and he was escorted back by officers to the building.

“On the way back into the inside of the institution, Owen was spat at by the boy in the face and some spittle went in his mouth,” claimed Mr Ford.

He was handcuffed and restrained and taken back to his cell. “He took a beating in that cell in B wing,” Mr Ford alleged.

The boy, now 16, said the fight in the yard began after another youth made a racist remark. He said he was restrained by four of five “screws”, handcuffed and carried to his cell. He said: “I was angry, quite aggressive and swearing at the guards and told them to let go of me.”

“When I got to the cell, they released me. I asked one of them to let me calm down. There were two of them. One said ‘shut up you n*****’ and one more screw came in and I got restrained again.”

“Two of them held me down on the bed, and other one was kneeing me in the face.”

He claimed they then put him on the floor and banged his head on the floor.

He said he suffered swelling to his right eye, a bump to the back of his head, a cut to his chin and a scratch to his shoulder in the assault.

Cross-examined, the boy denied spitting, but said he had been angry and had thrown a pen at Owen as he wanted them to get out of his cell.