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Jail Riot: Inmates Attacked Prison Guards And Set Offices On Fire Over Smoking Ban

By Anamarija Brnjarchevska
Raging lags started a riot by attacking prison guards with pool cues and setting fire to offices and flooding cells because they were banned from SMOKING, a court heard. (Steve Chatterley/Zenger)

Raging lags started a riot by attacking prison guards with pool cues and setting fire to offices and flooding cells because they were banned from smoking, a court heard.

Inmates at HMP Long Lartin went on the rampage for eight hours in October 2017 which cost the taxpayer almost 122,000 US dollars.

A court heard 86 inmates in Echo Wing in the category A prison kicked off just weeks after jail bosses imposed a smoking ban.

Guards were forced to flee the wing after prisoners took it over and threatened staff with pool cues and snooker balls in socks.

The disorder was only brought under control after Tornado Teams of elite officers scrambled to the prison near Evesham, Worcs.

Billy Midmore, 30, Richard Shanahan, 30, Paul Mapps, 34, and Richard Taylor, 27, deny mutiny at the prison.

Stefan Kolodynski, prosecuting, told Worcester Crown Court: “The catalyst for the incident was apparently the imposition of a smoking ban in September 2017.

“A letter written by Mapps which was seized by the prison indicates as much.”

Raging lags started a riot by attacking prison guards with pool cues and setting fire to offices and flooding cells because they were banned from SMOKING, a court heard. (Steve Chatterley/Zenger)

The jury heard how there was a sit-down protest within the prison involving Mapps,
Shanahan and Taylor on October 2, 2017 which ended peacefully and led to all three being placed on restriction.

Mr Kolodynski said Mapps indicated “a peaceful protest didn’t work so next time we will need to ramp it up”.

He told the court: “On October 11, 2017 at around 5.55 p.m. the Echo Wing alarm was triggered due to officers being chased off the wing by prisoners wielding pool cues and balls.”

The riot ended at about 1.40 a.m. the following day when 120 Tornado Team officers – dressed in Robocop-style black boiler suits – stormed the wing.

The court heard the cost deploying the Tornado Team cost around 53,600 US dollars while the damage to the prison was around 61,000 dollars.

Mr Kolodynski added: “The wing was deemed uninhabitable after the incident and took 12 weeks to repair.”

The court heard furniture and equipment was smashed and a fire which was lit in the office caused “widespread damage”.

One of the cells was also flooded when a fire hose was placed though the hatch in a door.

Mr Kolodynski said Mapps and Shanahan were armed with pool balls and cues, warning “screws” to “get off the landing”.

One prison officer was said to have narrowly avoided being hit by a pool ball.

The court heard Shanahan also hurled several pool balls at prison officers.

Raging lags started a riot by attacking prison guards with pool cues and setting fire to offices and flooding cells because they were banned from SMOKING, a court heard. (Steve Chatterley/Zenger)

He is also accused placing snooker balls inside a pillow case before climbing onto safety netting, shooting the contents of a fire extinguisher into the lens of a CCTV camera and obscuring another with tape.

Taylor was said to have been seen chasing one prison officer while wielding a raised snooker cue.

Mapps was said to have walked across the prison netting with a fire extinguisher in one hand and a hose spraying water in the other.

Meanwhile, Midmore was said to have hit a cell door repeatedly with an object, pulled down a hose from the floor above and removed a fire blanket from the kitchen after the
blaze started.

The trial continues.

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Dive Deeper:
Glasgow hammer killer dragged to safety after torching his own prison cell
Peter Connelly was serving life for the horrific murder of Walter Webb when he took exception to the healthcare provided…
‘My world fell apart’: life in prison with serious mental illness
Woman tells of being jailed during mental health crisis, and officer details ‘inhumane’ system in England
Drunken arsonist glugged '12 cans' and set fire to own home
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Pro-choice demonstrators rally across the US over expected reversal of Roe v Wade – as it happened
Thousands take to the streets in opposition to supreme court’s draft opinion scrapping constitutional right to abortion
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
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Get all your news in one place