Three jailed for prison mutiny which caused £180,000 of damage
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Three prisoners will spend more time in jail after they were sentenced for taking part in a mutiny at HMP Featherstone.
The disorder lasted for seven hours and around £180,000 of damage was caused, Stafford Crown Court was told yesterday (March 29).
The three men – Jamie Biddle, Darren Hart and Carl Baker – were all serving prisoners when they took part in the incident on 29 August 2017.
The court heard that Biddle started throwing pool balls from the third floor of House 5 at HMP Featherstone down at prison officers on the ground floor. One ball smashed through the staff window, just missing prison officers inside.
Hart was seen taking pool balls up to Biddle. Officers were very quickly taken off the house unit for their own safety. Biddle and Hart were witnessed on CCTV causing serious damage to house block 5, by throwing furniture and other items, and also smashing alarms and CCTV cameras. Prisoners had completely taken over the wing of the prison.
A fire was also started on the house unit and the compliant prisoners had to extinguish it themselves.
The prison mutiny warning was read out to prisoners several times through a loudhailer.
After many hours of disorder they barricaded themselves into a cell on the third floor with Baker.
Biddle, aged 30, and Hart, aged 51, pleaded guilty on 18 January to the charge of participating in a prison mutiny. Baker, aged 43, pleaded guilty in a hearing on 27 January.
Biddle was sentenced to 4 years, Hart to three years four months, and Baker to two years four months.
Prisons and Probation Minister, Alex Chalk MP, said: “This kind of behaviour will never be tolerated. The safety of our staff and prisoners is our priority and we will continue to work closely with the police to push for the strongest possible punishment for anyone jeopardising this – including more time behind bars.”
Officer in the case, Aimi Hanlon, of Staffordshire Police, said: “Thankfully no one was seriously hurt, but a lot of damage was caused and the incident continued for some time due to the violence and threat used by these men.
“They now have to serve extended sentences due to their actions.”
The total cost of damage to the house unit was £179,088.44.