Prisons minister Lucy Frazer checks into Whitemoor and looks at improvised weapons typical of the one used by Kieran Blair to slash fellow inmate's face
PUBLISHED: 13:07 28 August 2019
Make shift weapons made by prisoners at Whitemoor were shown to prisons minister Lucy Frazer - just days before a court was told how an improvised wood and razor blade device was used to slash an inmate.
Devices typical of the one used by heroin gangster Keiran Blair to slash a fellow prisoner's face were among those seen by the MP for SE Cambs during her Whitemoor visit.
The minister was also shown a body scanner at Whitemoor and how it could detect implements being smuggled in.
Ms Frazer said the Government was spending £100 million on airport-style security to stop the scourge of mobile phones and drugs that fuel crime and disorder in jails.
She said: "Alongside our recruitment of thousands of prison officers and building 10,000 additional prison places, we will continue our relentless drive to protect the public and make prisons places of safety and rehabilitation."
Sentencing of Blair, 27, one of the ringleaders of a heroin gang that terrorised Merseyside with violence, intimidation and bullying, came just days after the minister's visit.
At Peterborough Crown Court he was given an extra two years on his 14 year sentence for the attack at the March jail.
Blair, sentenced in 2016, was spotted approaching another inmate by a prison guard at HMP Whitemoor, March, on February 20 at about 6pm.
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Guards noticed the other inmates shouting as the victim tried to defend himself and ran over to intervene.
The men were separated and Blair attempted to hide the blood-covered weapon in his trousers. Officers found the weapon and took Blair to a segregated unit while the victim was treated for serious facial injuries.
Blair admitted charges of assault occasioning ABH.
DC Emily Clarke said: "This was a vicious, calculated attack on an unsuspecting victim.
"Blair caused a great deal of damage to the victim's face but thankfully the guards were on hand to prevent more serious injury."
Blair stood trial in Liverpool in 2016 when he, and 12 other gang members, was jailed for a total of 111 years.
The Liverpool Echo reported how the gang dealt in heroin, crack cocaine and cannabis - receiving more than 20,000 calls a month for drugs - and enforced their trade with intimidation and brutality.
One of the crimes for which the gang stood trial including the shooting of a man whose spine was severed; he is now a quadriplegic.