‘Dangerous’ inmate attacks prison officer after being refused to collect medication in flip flops

PUBLISHED: 10:46 08 September 2020 | UPDATED: 10:46 08 September 2020

Jamie Richards (left) had his prison sentence extended following an attack on a prison officer at HMP Whitemoor after he was refused to collect medication. Picture: POLICE WALES/PA IMAGES

Jamie Richards (left) had his prison sentence extended following an attack on a prison officer at HMP Whitemoor after he was refused to collect medication. Picture: POLICE WALES/PA IMAGES

Archant

A “dangerous” inmate at a Fenland prison who was serving an 11-year sentence for an attempted robbery attacked an officer after he was challenged for leaving his cell in a dressing gown and flip flops.

Jamie Richards had his prison sentence extended following an attack on a prison officer after he was refused to collect medication. Picture: POLICE WALESJamie Richards had his prison sentence extended following an attack on a prison officer after he was refused to collect medication. Picture: POLICE WALES

Jamie Richards was seen leaving the cell at HMP Whitemoor in March on September 30 last year, having planned to collect medication.

After the prison officer spoke to Richards for what he was wearing, his collection plans were refused and Richards became verbally abusive towards the officer, saying he would “knock him out”.

Later that day, Richards, 29, was spotted looking like he was about to leave the prison.

Richards then approached the prison officer from behind without warning and punched him in the face before being restrained by staff.

The officer suffered a double fracture to his cheekbone and was forced to have an extended period off work.

When interviewed, Richards admitted to the assault but claimed he did not intend to cause that level of injury to the prison officer.

He said he was “very annoyed” after not being allowed to collect his medication and that the same officer allowed other inmates to wear similar clothing without challenging them.

Richards also claimed that other inmates were treated more favourably by staff and said he “had enough”.

He said he was annoyed throughout the morning about the situation and punched the prison officer “without really thinking about it” once his cell was unlocked.

At the time of the assault, Richards was serving a prison sentence for an attempted robbery in Swansea in 2016, and further offending while behind bars. He was due to be released in 2022.

Richards was later charged with assault occasioning grievous bodily harm without intent, and pleaded guilty at Cambridge Crown Court on Monday, September 7.

He was handed a further two years in prison, to be served from the end of his existing sentence.

DC Shelly Reeve said: “Richards had already proved he was dangerous when he was sent to a category A prison, where the most serious offenders are kept.

MORE: ‘Violent offender’ at HMP Whitemoor threw bin of human waste at guards in ‘unprovoked attack’

“As a result of his actions, he will be staying there a little while longer.

“Prison staff work hard to ensure the safety of inmates and should be able to do so without fear of being attacked.

“The attack could have quite easily been much more serious and I am pleased Richards’ time behind bars has been extended.

“I hope this gives him time to reflect on his actions and rethink his violent behaviour.”

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